In recent constitutional debates, not only in Argentina but also in Latin America, there is a constant concern about the future of the “Estado de Derecho”. This concept is commonly found in several discussions about the role of the state: in the economy, security, education, diversity and human rights. As a consequence of the inflationary use of this concept, its meaning has eroded. For some jurist, this fundamental constitutional concept can be assimilated to the international formula of “rule of law” with all its implications. For others the “Estado de Derecho” requires only a formal adjustment of governmental decisions to previously existent laws. For several lawyers - from both sides - this concept involves per se the defense of human rights. Through a legal-historical perspective, the author analyses the diverse layers of historical meaning attached to this concept, as well as the imaginary that surrounds its semantic field, in an intention to confront diverse legal traditions which have composed the Argentinean constitutional language during the 20th century.
Bild: Reading of the sentence which condemned the Military Dictators of 1976-1983, Buenos Airses, December 9, 1985 Agencia Telam ©