Ten years ago legal experts would have laughed at the prospect of indicting and extraditing a powerful former dictator like Augusto Pinochet. This was not a tactic that seemed available to us. Perpetrators at that level, no matter how barbarous their crimes, moved about the world with impunity. Pinochet’s arrest and extradition changed the way we think about what is possible in international justice.
In the past two decades the world has seen the beginning of a new era for human rights, one in which the weight of international law and international public opinion has come increasingly to bear. In the arena of international law, new mechanisms have transformed the way we think about and achieve justice.