Símon, Julio Héctor and Others re Illegitimate Deprivation of Freedom

Cause No. 17.768c (2005)

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Símon, Julio Héctor and Others re Illegitimate Deprivation of Freedom

Argentina Supreme Court of Justice
Cause No. 17.768c (2005)

Facts

Julio Héctor Símon (defendant) was a member of the Argentine federal police during a military dictatorship. He was accused and prosecuted for crimes against humanity, including kidnapping, forced disappearance of persons, and torture. Argentina’s legislature passed legislation that would grant amnesty and pardon the accused violators of human-rights laws under the dictatorship. Amnesty laws had been historically used as a means of social pacification. However, under the American Convention on Human Rights—an international treaty ratified by Argentina—and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (the treaties), amnesty laws could not forgive individuals of past grave human-rights abuses through local political processes. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights had provided previous decisions and guidance invalidating such amnesty laws, including in Peru. Símon and others challenged the prosecution, claiming amnesty under Argentine laws. The trial court rejected the amnesty laws as unconstitutional. Símon appealed to the Argentina Supreme Court of Justice.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)

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