Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Uruguay: Impunity Law Declared Unconstitutional

There are important moves in Uruguay regarding the amnesty law known as the Ley de Caducidad. In February, key parts of the law were already ruled unconstitutional. In June, enough signatures were collected to initiate a referendum. On Sunday, during the presidential election, the population of Uruguay will be asked whether or not the law should be annulled.

Now events have taken another turn. As part of the case regarding the death of Nibia Sabalsagaray, who was killed in a military barracks in 1974, the Supreme Court has ruled that the law violates the separation of powers and was not properly approved. Officially, the ruling applies only to this case. However,
A lawyer representing her family told the Associated Press that while each case was unique, "it's understood that this sets a precedent and that the Supreme Court won't change if presented with a similar case".
Sunday's referendum will apparently go ahead.
"If the law is annulled, there won't be any sense in ruling that it's unconstitutional, but if the referendum doesn't get enough votes, there is the possibility of making this argument in other cases," prosecutor Mirtha Guianze, who brought the Sabalsagaray case to the Supreme Court, told Reuters news agency.
It is questionable, however, whether the referendum will approve the annulment; polls are apparently showing those in support of it in the low 40%s. So the unconstitutional ruling could indeed turn out to be significant.

Uruguay dirty war amnesty illegal
Uruguayan Court throws out special amnesty for crimes under dictatorship (Mercopress)
Ley de Caducidad: sentencia de la SCJ establece importante precedente (Espectador)
"Ley violo separacion de poderes" (La Republica [Uruguay])
Para anular la ley de impunidad (Brecha) [requires registration, source for image used above]

No comments: