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Comments on: Jaime Malamud Goti, “The Moral Dilemmas about Trying Pinochet in Spain”

Tomuschat, Christian
June 4, 2015

Source: (2004) In, Lukas H. Meyer, ed., Justice in Time: Responding to Historical Injustice. Baden-Baden: Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft. Pp. 315-318.

In this essay, Christian Tomuschat responds to Jaime Malamud Goti’s chapter in this book on “The moral dilemmas about trying Pinochet in Spain.â€? Goti basically contends that in cases such as Pinochet’s – cases of grave human rights violations – trials “from withinâ€? are to be preferred to trials “from without.â€? That is, for various reasons, it is preferable that a country address its own past and deal with it, rather than have an outside entity (either another country or an international body) take on and carry out this responsibility. Tomuschat commends much in Goti’s reasoning, yet finally cautions that Goti’s argument may not adequately account for the complexity of realities in some situations. While trials from within may be preferred, it may be necessary in particular situations to have an outside entity adjudicate human rights violations committed within a country. Tomuschat describes several situations to show the ambiguities of trials from within versus trials from without.


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