Letter: Pinochet's law

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Most people, probably even most lawyers, could not possibly have imagined that, some half-century after the Nuremberg trails, there was a law which, according to the Lord Chief Justice, "entitled Pinochet to sovereign immunity as a former head of state, from the civil and criminal process of the English Courts in relation to any act done in the exercise of his sovereign power". (Law Report, 30 October).

So, if Hitler were alive today and in the London Clinic for treatment of voice strain, this law would protect him. The ruling is so far beyond credibility as to make the law not just an ass but an accessory to crime - the torturing and murdering of defenceless citizens by brutal, corrupt regimes.

If the law does indeed still permit such immunity claims, it must be done away with immediately and replaced by a law in keeping with actual and natural justice. The lawyers can surely be relied upon to find a form of words protecting the Queen from indictment for the Falklands.

Professor G V R BORN

London N6