Human rights lawyer to lecture at Lancaster University

Lancaster University.
Lancaster University.

The acclaimed human rights lawyer, who proved to be the nemesis of Chilean dictator General Pinochet, will speak about the struggle to bring dictators to justice in a guest lecture at Lancaster University.

Dr Juan Garcés masterminded the arrest and detention of Pinochet in 1998 for massive violations of human rights. The Spanish lawyer is currently trying to persuade the Spanish and Argentine courts to investigate, for the first time, the crimes against humanity committed under General Franco’s dictatorship.

His lecture at Lancaster University on Thursday (Nov 6) will centre on efforts to bring dictators to justice in Spain and Latin America.

Dr Garcés’ work has been recognised across the world. He received the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’ in Sweden in 1999 and ‘France’s Chevalier de l’Ordre Nationale du Mérite’ in 2000 “for his long-standing efforts to end the impunity of dictators”.

He has been invited to Lancaster by the university’s Law School and Dynamics of Memory Research Group.

His lecture is the second of a series of ‘Sugarman Seminars’ honouring Professor David Sugarman, the university’s law professor and a leading authority on the Pinochet case.

It will take place 5pm in the Cavendish Colloquium Room in the university’s Faraday Building.

Professor Sugarman said: “We are delighted and honoured to have such an outstanding lawyer and defender of human rights speaking here in Lancaster.

“Dr Juan Garcés work to arrest and detain Pinochet is a story of great tenacity and determination from a lawyer who truly believes in justice.

“That belief continues to drive him forward and we are greatly looking forward to hear about his latest work to bring the crimes against humanity committed by Spain’s dictator Franco to the attention of the wider world.

“The lecture will critically assess the operation of universal jurisdiction with respect to international human rights crimes arising from the Franco dictatorship of Spain and Latin America’s military dictatorships of the late 20th century.

“He is also currently advising on cases initiated in Argentina to address the human rights crimes of the Franco Dictatorship through the legal mechanism of universal jurisdiction. It promises to be a fascinating lecture.”

The lecture is free and everyone is welcome. For more details contact Professor Mercedes Camino at