The Chilean judiciary has gradually overcome various legal, political and cultural obstacles to achieve systematic prosecution of crimes against humanity committed by state agents during the 1973-1990 dictatorship. Recently, however, a new obstacle has arisen: defendants appeal to the Constitutional Tribunal, claiming that the criminal procedure used to convict them (a written, inquisitorial system since superseded by an adversarial system) violates constitutional rights. Although most of their arguments are weak and poorly structured, the most persuasive one has found support in some dissenting judicial opinions. This challenges legal rules limiting the freedom of triers of fact to assess evidence, allowing convictions based on indirect evidence or judicial presumption. This paper argues that this argument is fallacious and largely rhetorical and shows how the applicable rules are in fact compatible with the right to due process and the presumption of innocence.
Our next Annual Conference will take place from July 6-9, 2021. It will be held in a completely novel way as a fully online Conference: ICON•S Mundo.
The Call for Papers for ICON•S Mundo is available here. Submissions for papers and panels must be made by May 1, 2021.
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