Spain’s abandonment of universal jurisdiction

October 4, 2010
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“Activist judges like Garzón, Andreu, and Pedraz have created a big diplomatic headache for the Zapatero government.” An overview of this past two years’ developments at Project Censored: Media Democracy in Action:

In October 2009, under great pressure from the United States, the government of Spain decided to limit its own jurisdiction in cases of genocide and crimes against humanity, thus closing one of the last windows of accountability for the most serious crimes committed by the most powerful nations on Earth. … Spain had been a venue for bringing high crimes charges against human rights violators in Guatemala, Argentina, China, Israel, and elsewhere. Most of the lawsuits have been against individuals linked to the untouchable political right, such as Chile’s Augusto Pinochet, the Argentine military officer Adolfo Scilingo, former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger, Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon and six of his senior advisors, and most recently, former George W. Bush administration officials. Calls to reign in the judges increased when Spanish magistrates announced probes involving Israel and the United States.

More here.

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