Eminent Jurists hold hearing on Southern Cone

The “Eminent Jurists Panel on Terrorism, Counter-terrorism and Human Rights” holds a sub-regional hearing in Buenos Aires today.

The Eminent Jurists Panel, a group of eight jurists appointed by the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) to examine the impact of the fight against terrorism on human rights and the rule of law, will look into the 70’s and 80’s and the lessons to be drawn from that period. The hearing will be held on 31 October and 1 November at the Salón Rojo of the Law School at the University of Buenos Aires.

The Panel holds this hearing in order to study what took place in these countries during the 70s and 80s, during which gross human rights violations were carried out in the name of “national security”.

“We are interested in getting to know the measures adopted by southern cone countries in the past and the impact these measures had on societies and the rule of law” said the Panel. “We will explore what lessons could be learned from what happened in these countries in order to analyse the current ‘fight against terrorism'” During the hearing, the Panel will hear testimonies from human rights organisations, judges, lawyers, prosecutors and Government authorities. Participants from Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Brazil and Paraguay will attend. During their visit, the Panel members will also meet in private with the Argentinean authorities.

The three members of the Panel present in Buenos Aires are: Raúl Zaffaroni (Argentina), Judge at the Supreme Court of Argentina and former Director of the United Nations Latin American Institute on Crime Prevention (ILANUD), Robert K. Goldman (United States), former President of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and former expert of the United Nations on human rights and the fight against terrorism and Stefan Trechsel (Switzerland), former President of the European Commission on Human Rights and judge ad litem at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.


The Panel is composed of eight judges and lawyers of all regions of the world. The Panel exercises its mandate independently, with the logistical support of the ICJ Secretariat and its network of organizations. Arthur Chaskalson, former President of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, chairs the Panel. The other members are Georges Abi-Saab (Egypt), Robert K. Goldman (United States), Hina Jilani (Pakistan), Vitit Muntarbhorn (Thailand), Mary Robinson (Ireland), Stefan Trechsel (Switzerland) and Raúl Zaffaroni (Argentina).

The Panel already held hearings in Australia, Colombia, East Africa (covering Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda), the United Kingdom (in London on current policies and Belfast on lessons from the past), North Africa (covering Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia) and the United States. Other countries or regions where the Panel will also hold hearings include Canada, the Russian Federation, South East Asia, South Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

Argentina-Eminent Jurists counter-terrorism2-press release-2006-eng (text in English, PDF)

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