More on the Upcoming Garzon Trial: Are Amnesties Illegal?
I don’t fully understand the nature of the legal charges against Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzon. It sounds like, from this Economist article, that he is being accused of some version of “prosecutorial” and “judicial” misconduct for refusing to follow the terms of Spain’s 1977 amnesty law preventing investigations into Franco-era crimes. Garzon apparently held that there is a consensus that amnesties are illegal under international law and therefore could not bar his assertion of jurisdiction. This seems like a very sketchy legal holding, but I haven’t thought about this enough to opine with any certainty. I am fairly confident that there is no consensus that such amnesties are illegal. But whether this is enough to find misconduct under Spanish law, I have no idea. Anyone out there with links to the relevant opinions?