Registration and Documentation of State Violence as Judicial Evidence in Human Rights Trials

  • Boris Hau
  • Francesca Lessa
  • Hugo Rojas


This chapter analyses post-dictatorial times and the legal arena to demonstrate how documents and records compiled by the Comité and the Vicaría have been successfully used over the past twenty years in Chile to contribute to numerous criminal prosecutions of crimes against humanity. The chapter explains how such records adequately met evidentiary standards, and discusses their use in human rights trials in Chile and the recent Operation Condor trial in Argentina. The chapter examines 216 definitive judicial verdicts in human rights cases that were contained, as of 2016, in a database compiled by Chile’s national Museum of Memory and Human Rights. These in turn represent around two-thirds of the 320 definitive (i.e. final) sentences handed down, as of May 2017, by Chile’s domestic courts for human rights violations committed during the dictatorship era.



This book chapter has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 702004. The authors wish to thank Daniela Mansilla, Leigh A. Payne, Tomás Pascual, Rodrigo Suárez, Alberto Urzúa, Cath Collins, and Cristián Villalonga for their comments on previous versions of this chapter.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Boris Hau
    • 1
  • Francesca Lessa
    • 2
  • Hugo Rojas
    • 3
  1. 1.Transitional Justice Observatory, Human Rights CentreUniversidad Diego PortalesSantiagoChile
  2. 2.Latin American CentreUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK
  3. 3.Law SchoolUniversidad Alberto HurtadoSantiagoChile

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