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The 2007 Convention and Its Main Legal Issues

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Chapter Summary

This chapter analyzes the legal issues discussed in the process of the drafting of the 2007 Convention. The importance of the human right not to be subjected to enforced disappearance is strengthened by the recent finding of the Interamerican Court of Human Rights. The 1998 Rome Statute qualified “enforced disappearances” as crimes against humanity when committed as a part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack. Under customary international law, crimes against humanity are imprescriptible. The recognition of the continuous nature of enforced disappearance comes from the very nature of the offence, in particular from the denial by the State to disclose what happened to the victim. Article 35 of the 2007 Convention provides that the Committee on Enforced Disappearances shall have competence solely with regard to enforced disappearances which commenced after its entry into force.

Keywords: 2007 Convention; crimes against humanity; customary international law; domestic criminal law; enforced disappearance; Interamerican Court of Human Rights; Rome Statute



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