Practice Relating to Rule 159. Amnesty
Section A. Amnesty for participation in non-international armed conflicts
Argentina’s Amnesty Law (1973) provides that amnesty shall be granted for acts committed before 25 May 1973 and relating to political, social, trade union or student activities, and for acts committed by civilians prosecuted by military courts or military commanders. Under this law, all sentences for such acts should be discontinued.
Argentina’s Self-Amnesty Law (1983), in connection with the armed confrontations which occurred in the fight against subversive terrorism, discontinued the penal actions resulting from crimes committed for the purpose of terrorist or subversive activities between 25 May 1973 and 17 June 1982. It also applied to all unlawful acts undertaken on the occasion of, or for the purpose of developing, actions to prevent, thwart or put an end to terrorist or subversive activities.
However, this Law was found to be unconstitutional and declared void by the Law Repealing the Self-Amnesty Law which declared it to be “without any juridical effect as regards the judgment of the penal, civil, administrative and military responsibilities for the acts it claims to cover. In particular, the principle of least harsh punishment, stipulated in Article 2 of the Penal Code, is inapplicable.”