Faculty Publications: The Dictates of Justice

May 17, 2012

In 1985 Professor Owen Fiss traveled to Argentina to advise the administration of President Raul Alfonsin, on the trials the country initiated to hold its military accountable for human rights abuses. During his time there, Professor Fiss came to understand human rights not as strictly legal claims, but as universal social ideals, rooted in the country's processes of national self-determination.

His experiences in Argentina informed a new collection of essays, Dictates of Justice. Prof. Fiss explains how states engaging in the transition from dictatorship to democracy can protect human rights through civil, not just criminal, proceedings. He also critiques the turn to international tribunals which tend to supplant national efforts to adjudicate human rights claims. And he examines the human rights issues posed by the fight against terrorism in the post-9/11 era, framing the issues in terms of national law. 

Additional Materials: 

Yale Law School Repository collection of Prof. Fiss' work

Book talk with Prof. Fiss, sponsored by YLS Lillian Goldman Law Library.

Elin Skaar, Judicial Independence and Human Rights in Latin America: Violations, Politics, and Prosecution (2011).

Priscilla B. Hayner, Unspeakable Truths: Transitional Justice and the Challenge of Truth Commissions (2d ed. 2011).

The Role of Courts in Transitional Justice (Jessica Almqvist and Carlos Esposito, ed., 2012).

Transition to Democracy in Latin America: The Role of the Judiciary, (Irwin P. Stotzky ed., 1993).




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