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Argentina: Law Forbidding Pardons of Crimes Against Humanity

(Aug. 7, 2015) On July 1, 2015, Argentina’s Senate passed legislation that forbids pardons, amnesties, and the commutations of sentences for crimes against humanity. It became law with all the Senate political parties voting in favor of it. (Sancionaron Ley que Prohibe Indultos, Amnistias y Conmutación de Penas para Delitos de Lesa Humanidad [Law Prohibiting Pardons, Amnesties, and Commutations of Sentences for Crimes Against Humanity Enacted], THOMSON REUTERS (July 3, 2015).) The new Law 27156 is based on precedents from the Argentine Supreme Court and other international organizations, such as the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. (Id.)

Law 27156 establishes that any attempt to decree an amnesty in cases of the commission of crimes against humanity will be null; it refers to the Treaty of Rome and decisions rendered by the International Criminal Court. (Ley 27156, Probición de Indultos, Amnistía y Conmutación de Penas en Delitos de Lesa Humanidad. Prohibición [Law 27156, Prohibiting Pardons, Amnesties, and Commutation of Sentences for Crimes Against Humanity] (July 1, 2015), INFOLEG.)

The Law provides that criminal sanctions for or trials of crimes against humanity, genocide, or war crimes, as prescribed under articles 6, 7, and 8 of the Statute of Rome of the International Criminal Court and other international human rights treaties with constitutional status, may not be the subjects of amnesties, pardons, or commutations of criminal sentences. (Id. art. 1; Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (in force on July 1, 2002), International Criminal Court website.)