Chicago Journal of International Law


From a political point of view, it would have been easier to try Astiz in 1982 than Pinochet in 1999. Astiz was a mid-level naval officer of a country then at war with Britain. Trying him for human rights violations would have given substance to the British government's rhetoric about the repressive nature of the Argentine regime. Pinochet was a former head of state and current senator-for-life of a country that had supported Great Britain during the Falklands/Malvinas War. This Article examines what changed between 1982 and 1999 that made Pinochet's arrest in Britain possible. We address two main questions: (1) why, in the last two decades of the 20th century, was there a major international norms shift towards using foreign or international judicial processes to hold individuals accountable for human rights crimes; and (2) what difference have foreign judicial processes made for human rights practices in the countries whose governments were responsible for those crimes.

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