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Event discusses outlawing amnesty

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Human rights violations and amnesty are the focus of a Valparaiso University School of Law event next week.

Visiting assistant professor of law at Marquette University Law School Lisa J. Laplante will discuss the tension in international human rights law and international criminal law with respect to amnesties. She'll address the issue through the Barrios Altos case, a decision issued by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in 2001 that declared unlawful Peru's amnesty laws promulgated in 1995.

Laplante draws on her experiences in Peru to show that international law directly impacts national transitional justice experiences, and argues criminal justice should be carried out rather than granting amnesty.

Until recently, in countries seeking to address past episodes of systematic human rights violations, amnesties were considered an acceptable means of promoting transitional justice, which meant human rights perpetrators went unpunished. In response, truth commissions became a popular alternative to criminal trials. International criminal law lawyers questioned the legality of the resulting amnesties and eventually carved out exceptions for certain international crimes. This discourse suggests it's still possible for nations to resort to amnesties for serious human rights violations during political transitions, and thus impunity.

The event, "Outlawing Amnesty," is from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. CST Nov. 9 in the Ulbricht Classroom in the law school. It's free and open to the public.

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  1. Someone off their meds? C'mon John, it is called the politics of Empire. Get with the program, will ya? How can we build one world under secularist ideals without breaking a few eggs? Of course, once it is fully built, is the American public who will feel the deadly grip of the velvet glove. One cannot lay down with dogs without getting fleas. The cup of wrath is nearly full, John Smith, nearly full. Oops, there I go, almost sounding as alarmist as Smith. Guess he and I both need to listen to this again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRnQ65J02XA

  2. Charles Rice was one of the greatest of the so-called great generation in America. I was privileged to count him among my mentors. He stood firm for Christ and Christ's Church in the Spirit of Thomas More, always quick to be a good servant of the King, but always God's first. I had Rice come speak to 700 in Fort Wayne as Obama took office. Rice was concerned that this rise of aggressive secularism and militant Islam were dual threats to Christendom,er, please forgive, I meant to say "Western Civilization". RIP Charlie. You are safe at home.

  3. It's a big fat black mark against the US that they radicalized a lot of these Afghan jihadis in the 80s to fight the soviets and then when they predictably got around to biting the hand that fed them, the US had to invade their homelands, install a bunch of corrupt drug kingpins and kleptocrats, take these guys and torture the hell out of them. Why for example did the US have to sodomize them? Dubya said "they hate us for our freedoms!" Here, try some of that freedom whether you like it or not!!! Now they got even more reasons to hate us-- lets just keep bombing the crap out of their populations, installing more puppet regimes, arming one faction against another, etc etc etc.... the US is becoming a monster. No wonder they hate us. Here's my modest recommendation. How about we follow "Just War" theory in the future. St Augustine had it right. How about we treat these obvious prisoners of war according to the Geneva convention instead of torturing them in sadistic and perverted ways.

  4. As usual, John is "spot-on." The subtle but poignant points he makes are numerous and warrant reflection by mediators and users. Oh but were it so simple.

  5. ACLU. Way to step up against the police state. I see a lot of things from the ACLU I don't like but this one is a gold star in its column.... instead of fighting it the authorities should apologize and back off.

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