31 Hastings Int'l & Comp. L. Rev. 587 (2008)
Constitutional Changes, Transitional Justice, and Legitimacy: The Life and Death of Argentina's Amnesty Laws

handle is hein.journals/hasint31 and id is 603 raw text is: Constitutional Changes, Transitional
Justice, and Legitimacy: The Life and
Death of Argentina's Amnesty Laws
By JOSE SEBASTIAN ELIAS
I. Introduction
Argentina has a long history of authoritarian government, with a
good portion of the twentieth century characterized by military
dictatorships. This environment has hindered the development of a
liberal constitutional practice of government, one that is consistent
with the rule of law and that places a high value on individual rights
and on the value of autonomy.1 The most serious interruption of
constitutional order took place between 1976 and 1983, when a
military government ruled the country with an iron fist under the
pretext of fighting the communist guerrilla.      In this process,
* I am indebted to Bruce Ackerman for his insightful criticisms and comments on
an earlier version of this paper. Another version of this piece was presented at the
Latin American Human Rights and Legal Theory Workshop at the Leitner Center
for International Law and Justice, at Fordham Law School, where I received useful
comments and criticisms from Jorge Contesse, Juan Gonzalez Bertomeu, Ruti
Teitel, and other assistants. I have also benefited from long conversations on the
topic with Leonardo Filippini, Marcelo Alegre, and Samuel Ferguson. Julio Rivera
read a previous draft and made useful comments, and Santiago Gascon gave me
more than a helping hand with bibliography at a distance. Last, but not least,
Elizabeth Klebaner, Erica Yen, Alicia Miller and the editorial team at the Hastings
International and Comparative Law Review did a great job on this piece, helping
make it more accurate and readable. To all of them I am truly grateful. Obviously,
unanswered criticisms and any other shortcomings remain my responsibility.
1. See CARLOS S. NINO, FUNDAMENTOS DE DERECHO CONSITUCIONAL:
ANALISIS FILOSOFICO, JURIDICO Y POLITOLOGICO DE LA PRACrICA CONSTITUCIONAL
106-57 (1992).

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