Spanish Supreme Court Affirms Conviction of Argentine Former Naval Officer for Crimes against Humanity

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This article summarizes the legal issues involved in the consideration by the Spanish Supreme Court of the appeal of the conviction by the Spanish Audiencia Nacional court of Adolfo Scilingo, an Argentine military officer, for crimes against humanity in Argentina. It discusses the legal analysis of the court and their reluctant acceptance of the notion of universal jurisdiction in Spain. The article also discusses the ongoing legal disputes in the long pre-trial saga of Miguel Angel Cavallo, another Argentine officer in Spanish custody whose trial is still pending, several years after his extradition from Mexico. Finally, the article discusses the ever-expanding scope of Spanish universal jurisdiction to reach crimes alleged to have been committed in Guatemala, Tibet, China, Western Sahara and on the high seas between Africa and Spain, as well as recent statutory expansion of the universal jurisdiction statute in Spain.