McGeorge School of Law

Famed Chilean Jurist Speaks On Pinochet Case

November 8, 2011

Judge Juan Guzman Tapia

Judge Juan Guzman Tapia of Chile

Judge Juan Guzmán Tapia of Chile spoke about "The Indictment of Pinochet" to students and faculty on Nov. 1, 2011, as part of the McGeorge Global Center for Business & Development's 2011-12 International Jurist Series.

Tapia addressed Professor John Sims' International Protection of Human Rights class in a session that was opened to all members of the campus community. Tapia was the judge in charge of the prosecution of Augusto Pinochet, a former general and president of Chile who was a well-known human rights violator and violent dictator.

Pinochet was actually indicted in four specific cases in seven years by the Chilean jurist, but his trial dragged out until his death in December 2006 with a flurry of back-and-forth decisions from the country's Supreme Court related to immunity and health issues. He was never convicted of any charge despite his apparent culpability in numerous mass murders and disappearances. Tapia is currently a professor of procedural law at the Catholic University of Santiago's School of Law.

Judge Charles Brower, who has served since 1983 as a judge of the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal in The Hague, will be the next visitor in the International Jurist Series. He will speak on April 3, 2012, at McGeorge.