Argentina definitively abolishes the death penalty


on 18 September 2008

On September 2, Argentina ratified the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty. The country had signed the treaty in December 2006 (photo). The ratification means that Argentina is unreservedly committed to abolishing the death penalty in a total and definitive manner for all crimes.
The country was already a good way on the road to abolition as it had got rid of capital punishment for common crimes and article 18 of its constitution states the “total abolition of the death penalty for political reasons”. Last August, the reform of the Military justice code led to the deletion of all references to the death penalty for military crimes.

Last step

Argentina took the last step by ratifying the Second Optional Protocol. Under a 1994 constitutional amendment, international treaties signed by Argentina are equivalent to constitutional rules.
The ratification of the Protocol therefore enshrines the complete and irreversible abolition of the death penalty into Argentina’s constitution and expresses the country’s will to make capital punishment illegal on its soil.
After the Second Optional Protocol, Argentina ratified a treaty aiming at abolishing the death penalty at the regional level on September 5. It had signed that Organisation of American States-sponsored treaty in December 2006 too.
Argentina is now a state party to every regional  human rights treaty in America. Those ratifications give a boost to efforts for the abolition of the death penalty oelsewhere in America, especially in the Caribbean.

Find out more about the Second Optional Protocol



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