Can we use law to hold the past to account?
From the Introduction: As a prosecutor in the trials of those responsible for state-sponsored "disappearances" and systemic torture, I realized the limits of using a criminal justice system to prosecute gross violations of human rights. Crimes like those committed in Argentina during the so-called Dirty War were more complex than regular crimes: instead of upholding laws, authorities ordered them violated; law enforcement agencies committed crimes instead of preventing them; criminals were not isolated by society, rather they were supported by the elite; and finally, groups that the regime deemed problematic were systemically eliminated with no respect for their human rights.
Massive crimes require massive legal and societal solutions, solutions which extend beyond judicial remedies. Law enforcement agencies and judiciaries are not enough to establish the law. The information about the crimes generated by the trials is as important as the punishment. Punishment is just one part of the criminal justice system and its application does not guarantee the reformation of the society or its authorities.