Hastings International and Comparative Law Review


Julia K. Boyle


Many nations view the obligation of protecting human rights as worthy of relaxing the traditional deference to State sovereignty. They believe interference is necessary to prevent and punish human rights violators. In the 1970s and 8 b. Argentina was subject to an intense military rule. Disappearances, torture and extra-legal executions were the regime's tools of oppression, and despite Argentina's claim that those guilty of human rights violations were properly dealt with, the new democracy's measures were insufficient to conform to Argentina's legal obligations. Argentina's inaction constitutes a violation of Argentine and international law.

Hundreds of Spanish nationals were victims of the military regime in Argentina. This note argues that under Spanish, international treaty and customary law, Spain is justified, and in fact compelled, to try the Argentine war criminals in its national courts.