Conversations with History: Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley

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Confronting Chile's History: Conversation with Juan Guzman, Chief Judge, Court of Appeals, Santiago, Chile; 4/17/01 by Harry Kreisler

This interview is part of the Institute's "Conversations with History" series, and uses Internet technology to share with the public Berkeley's distinction as a global forum for ideas.

Welcome to a Conversation With History. I'm Harry Kreisler of the Institute of International Studies. Our guest today is Juan Guzmán, who is Chief Judge, Court of Appeals, Santiago, Chile; and is currently in charge of the prosecution and trial of former General Augusto Pinochet. Judge Guzman is also a Professor of Law at the Catholic University Law School and at the Central University Law School of Santiago.

  1. Background ... international upbringing ... influence of father ... reading ... legal education
  2. Law and Literature ... poetry and Shakespeare ... literature and the practice of law ... philosophy ... a "creature of circumstance" ... the human condition
  3. Being a Judge ... looking for a career in Allende's Chile ... convincing Allende to appoint him ... the Chilean justice system ... the dual role of judge and prosecutor ... less politicized prosecution ... prerequisites for the role ... most difficult part of the job ... most satisfying
  4. Chilean Law and Human Rights ... the Pinochet case ... history: the overthrow of the Allende government ... closure for families of the disappeared ... warning for the future ... acknowledging what happened ... comparison to Holocaust ... national responsibility ... no one above the law
  5. Conclusion ... changing as a person because of the proceedings ... the human condition ... not learning from the past ... inner peace from literature ... remaining optimistic

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