Title: Breaking the silence: challenging legal limits to pursue human rights violations

Authors: Lukas Hrabovsky

Addresses: Department of Constitutional Law, Palacky University Olomouc, Czech Republic; Universidad de Oviedo, Facultad de Derecho, Campus El Cristo, 33006 Oviedo, Spain

Abstract: Forced disappearance represents one of the most serious violations of human rights. In order to fight this humiliating practice, international community adopted the Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Forced Disappearance. Nowadays, Spain is being confronted with its bloody past under Franco's era. His fascist dictatorship is marked with grave violations of human rights. When turning to democracy, Spain opted for forgetting past wrongs. This consensus between former foes was embodied in the so-called Pact of Forgetting. Today, it serves as an argument for domestic courts for denying justice to the victims of Franco's regime calling for justice. Yet, the victims have been desperately calling for justice at Spanish courts and European Court of Human Rights. The Spanish courts, however, found themselves 'between the mill wheels'. They have to balance between the will of Spaniards embodied in the Pact of Forgetting, and the International Human Rights Framework.

Keywords: human rights; forced disappearance; crimes against humanity; Spanish Constitution; statute of limitations; international law; amnesty law; torture.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHRCS.2021.113762

International Journal of Human Rights and Constitutional Studies, 2021 Vol.8 No.1/2, pp.129 - 145

Received: 09 Jan 2020
Accepted: 15 Feb 2020

Published online: 12 Mar 2021 *

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