The rights of the victims of past atrocities in Spain: reparation without truth an Justice?

Magazine: Connecticut Journal of International Law, vol 29.

Publication date: 2014

Pages: 87-942

ISSN: 0897-1218

Subject: Derechos humanos

Summary: This paper analyzes the issue of enforced disappearances occurred in Spain during the civil war in the light of the international standards of reparation for serious human rights violations. The authors focus on the legal controversy relating to the international regulation of enforced disappearance as a continuing crime, the state’s obligations to investigate, criminally prosecute and punish such crimes or extradite the possible culprits and its peculiar application by the Spanish Supreme Court and the Audiencia Nacional. In the opinion of the authors, that domestic interpretation implies for the victims the denial of adequate reparation under the applicable international legal regimes and a breach of Spain’s international obligations. The paper subsequently examines the role played by the European Court of Human Rights in guaranteeing the victim’s rights to a legal remedy through access to a court in its controversial and the restrictive interpretation of the limits ratione temporis of its own jurisdiction with regard to human rights violations of a continuing nature. Finally, the authors give some suggestions for implementing a truth commission in relation to past human rights abuses in Spain..