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The Rise and Fall of Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzón


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rise-and-fall-spanish-judge-baltasar-garz-n_629984.html?nopager=1The Weekly Standard:




On February 9, the Spanish supreme court unanimously ruled to disbar Baltasar Garzón, the Spanish judge who famously indicted former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet using the legal doctrine of universal jurisdiction, for ordering illegal wiretaps. The court found that Garzón acted illegally when he authorized police to record jailhouse conversations between detainees and their defense lawyers in a political corruption investigation known in Spain as the Gürtel case.


In a 70-page ruling, the court said Garzón’s actions “caused a drastic and unjustified reduction of the right to a defense” and that his tactics “these days are only found in totalitarian regimes.” He is forbidden from practicing law for the next 11 years, effectively ending the judicial career of Garzón, who is 56.


Garzón’s conviction has implications that reach far beyond Spain. In addition to depriving the left of one of the most ambitious legal activists, it also marks the beginning of the end of Spain’s foray into cross border jurisprudence.





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