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Pinochet: The Politics

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Against the background of the Pinochet affair, the author considers that a new era of international politics is in the process of being created. The House of Lords’ ruling which has allowed extradition procedures against the former Chilean dictator, is understood as a formidable and groundbreaking decision in international law based on the defence of human rights against crimes committed by authoritarian and unlawful rulers. The decision taken under the European Convention on extradition and the setting up of a Permanent International Criminal Court in the summer of 1998 are, according to the author, signs that international law and international politics are moving in the direction of a universal acceptance that violators of human rights must be punished.

However, the author is also cautious about the tension between the new path opened to international politics and the old power politics based on the absolute and indivisible sovereignty of the state. Double standards will certainly prevail and powerful states, in particular the United States, are reluctant to accept that international law and international politics are in the process of change.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Cambridge, UK

Publication date: April 1, 1999

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