Apr 25, 2014
12:30pm - 2:00pm    |    Wilf 5th Floor Conference Room, 139 MacDougal Street, New York, NY

Valid ID and RSVP are required for this event. Please RSVP to Audrey Watne at watnea@exchange.law.nyu.edu by April 22th to be guaranteed admission. Lunch will be served.

About the Event:

In this lunch lecture, CHRGJ welcomes Carlos Castresana, a public prosecutor of the Spanish Supreme Court, who has dedicated most of his career to criminal law, including pivotal work on the trial of Pinochet.  Castresana will discuss some of the key prospects and challenges for taking international criminal justice to the next level and expanding ongoing avenues for accountability, including better protections for victims of serious human rights abuses.

The Nuremberg Tribunals were widely hailed as milestone in the search for accountability for international crimes but—with few exceptions—their Principles were not applied during the next half century. After the end of the Cold War, the 1990s signified a turning point, ushering in an era of “victims’ justice” marked by the trial of Pinochet, the establishment of the ICTY and ICTR, and the eventual creation of the ICC, among other important developments. Yet, despite these achievements, international rule of law often remains hampered by the whims of political discretion; the lack of political will or inability of domestic authorities and legal bodies to carry out their work; and the sometimes evident double standards or opportunistic decisions made by international bodies. As a result, impunity remains widespread globally, despite significant advances in international criminal justice and human rights over the last quarter century. Castresana will draw on his long career in this field to situate the primary challenges and opportunities we face going forward.

About our Speaker:

As a Prosecutor, Carlos Castresana has confronted powerful transnational cartels dealing with drug trafficking and money laundering, and indicted high-ranking officers and businessmen including, notably, former Italian prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi. In his capacity as representative of the Spanish Union of Progressive Prosecutors, Castresana crafted and filed on behalf of the victims the lawsuits against Generals Jorge Videla and Augusto Pinochet.

In 2007, Castresana was appointed Commissioner Against Impunity in Guatemala. During his tenure as Commissioner, Castresana oversaw the capture of more than 150 gangsters, politicians, businessmen and high ranking civil and military officers, including former President Alfonso Portillo who was later extradited to the US and recently pleaded guilty before a Federal Court in NYC; Castresana also intervened to prevent a likely coup d’etat by solving the murder of lawyer Rodrigo Rosenberg. CICIG brought to trial seven high impact cases achieving convictions in each, and forcing Castresana to resign and flee Guatemala.

In recognition of his tireless work on behalf of victims of violence and the rule of law, Castresana has been awarded the Great Cross of Guatemala, The French Legion of Honor, The Star of Solidarity from Italy and the Medal of Civil Merit from Spain.

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