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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. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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