Re Pinochet Case Summary

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THE PINOCHET CASE In Re Pinochet spanning across three judgments, portrays a rather progressive view of sovereign immunity. By upholding human rights and conversely arguing in favor of the people, the House of Lords rejected the notion that a Head of State was free to act in any manner to rule his people. The irony of the situation was that it was Pinochet who signed the Torture Convention that he himself fell prey to . FACTS Pinochet Ugartewas the Head of the State of Chile from 11 September 1973 to March 1990. Pinochet was accused by the Spanish magistrate BaltasarGarzon of authorizing or knowingly allowing torture, disappearance of people, taking them hostage and murder in the decades following the 1973 violent overthrow of the democratically elected government of President Salvador Allende. Citizens of various nations including Chile, Spain and the U.K. were victims of his crimes. These crimes were alleged to have formed part of an international conspiracy to track…show more content…
PINOCHET II AND POSSIBILITY OF A BIAS The lawyers arguing on behalf of Pinochet demonstrated the possibility of a bias as Lord Hoffman’s wife worked for Amnesty International, who along with several other organizations had involved it in protecting human rights by joining the case as a party, after the first judgment. Additionally, Lord Hoffman himself was on the Board for Amnesty’s educational program due to which the possibility of a bias became apparent and the Court was compelled to call for a second judgment in the matter . A second change from the first to the third judgment was that Chile, which was earlier demanding for Pinochet to be extradited, had now joined as a party . PINOCHET III AND STATE IMMUNITY Several issues were raised in this case with respect to the crimes committed by Senator Pinochet. However, numerous of these were raised at earlier stages in the proceedings and were not found to be of international relevance
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