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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. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

  2. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

  3. Linda, I sure hope you are not seeking a law license, for such eighteenth century sentiments could result in your denial in some jurisdictions minting attorneys for our tolerant and inclusive profession.

  4. Mazel Tov to the newlyweds. And to those bakers, photographers, printers, clerks, judges and others who will lose careers and social standing for not saluting the New World (Dis)Order, we can all direct our Two Minutes of Hate as Big Brother asks of us. Progress! Onward!

  5. My daughter was taken from my home at the end of June/2014. I said I would sign the safety plan but my husband would not. My husband said he would leave the house so my daughter could stay with me but the case worker said no her mind is made up she is taking my daughter. My daughter went to a friends and then the friend filed a restraining order which she was told by dcs if she did not then they would take my daughter away from her. The restraining order was not in effect until we were to go to court. Eventually it was dropped but for 2 months DCS refused to allow me to have any contact and was using the restraining order as the reason but it was not in effect. This was Dcs violating my rights. Please help me I don't have the money for an attorney. Can anyone take this case Pro Bono?

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