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Wed Jun 17, 2015, 12:03 PM

Former Argentine Supreme Court Justice Eugenio Zaffaroni elected to InterAmerican Human Rights Court

Former Supreme Court Justice Eugenio Zaffaroni was elected yesterday to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights along with three other jurists from Chile, Costa Rica, and Ecuador.

Zaffaroni, who recently retired from the Supreme Court at 75, had been nominated by the Argentine Government, which celebrated his appointment by the Organization of American States (OAS) General Assembly in Washington. “This election represents a great honour for Argentina as the commitment of our country to the promotion and protection of human rights has been recognized by the international community,” the Foreign Ministry headed by Héctor Timerman — who attended yesterday’s OAS hearing, said in a press release.

The former justice yesterday received 18 votes from the 23 countries that are part of the human rights body. A majority of 12 votes was needed.

Appointed to the country’s highest tribunal in 2003 by late former president Néstor Kirchner, Zaffaroni stayed on the Supreme Court for 11 years. He is considered to be a progressive law expert and with close links to the Kirchner administration and Legitimate Justice, the pro-judicial reform association.

Zaffaroni’s nomination was endorsed by the American Association of Jurists (AAJ). In its endorsement letter, the AAJ also made reference to the resurgence of a book about the Military Code of Justice published in 1980. According to the AAJ, Zaffaroni’s words have been distorted to make him appear as a defender of the 1976 military coup. “The book was a key element to promote the criminal investigations into state terror practices,” the members of the AAJ said. The organization also said that “the media do not forget his vote in the Broadcast Media Law case in 2013 and his support of the country against the attack launched by vulture funds.”

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights is made up of seven judges from seven different countries and four seats were up for grabs. Zaffaroni will be arriving at the Court along with Eduardo Vio Grossi (Chile), Elizabeth Odio Benito (Costa Rica), and Patricio Pazmiño Freire (Ecuador).

At: http://buenosairesherald.com/article/191791/zaffaroni-elected-to-interamerican-rights-court

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