Rarely has a modern-day judge or human rights defender created as much controversy as Judge Baltasar Garzón. Garzón's supporters view him as an unrelenting human rights advocate, taking on high-profile cases including former Chilean president Augusto Pinochet and Osama bin Laden. Garzón's critics write him off as an over-stepping judge who has abused his judicial power, including exceeding his authority by investigating Spanish Civil War atrocities.
Judge Garzón grabbed the world's attention in 1998 when he asked UK authorities to extradite former Chilean dictator, Augusto Pinochet, to the Spanish court under an indictment of torture. Garzón's request was under the legal theory of universal jurisdiction, which allows any court to try individuals who are alleged to have committed the most serious international crimes, such as crimes against humanity or war crimes.
Since the Pinochet case, Garzón has continued to push for broad jurisdictional authority, opening investigations in the militant Basque separatist group, ETA, as well as Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda. After his most recent investigation into the Franco era crimes of the Spanish Civil War, the tables were turned, and Garzón himself was indicted for overreaching his jurisdiction in investigating war crimes arising out of the Spanish Civil War.
Judge Garzón is challenging the lawfulness of his indictment in Spain which the International Center for the Legal Protection of Human Rights (INTERIGHTS) has described as a "threat to the independence of judges and to their role in ensuring accountability for alleged widespread and systematic crimes." Garzón alleges the criminal case against him violates several of Spain's obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights including the obligation to protect individuals from an unfair criminal process.
Judge Garzón will speak at the University of Minnesota on April 25 at 2:00PM in Room 25 Mondale Hall, University of Minnesota Law School, 19th Ave South, Minneapolis MN 55455. His talk will focus on "Truth, Justice and Reparation". A reception will follow immediately Garzón's lecture.
Garzón's visit is being co-sponsored by the Human Rights Program, the Department of Political Science, the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies, The Institute for Global Studies, The Hubert Humphrey Center, The Law School, The Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change, Global Spotlight, European Studies Consortium
Event is free and open to the public.
viernes, 15 de abril de 2011
Hablará Garzón en la Universidad de Minnesota, el 25 de abril
El juez Baltasar Garzón hablará en la Universidad de Minnesota el 25 de abril a las 14 h. El título de su conferencia es "Truth, Justice and Reparation" (Verdad, Justicia y Reparación).