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Argentina court strikes down agreement to probe 1994 bombing of Jewish community center

[JURIST] An appeals court in Argentina ruled Thursday that a controversial agreement between Argentina and Iran to investigate the 1994 bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish community center was unconstitutional. The two nations signed the agreement [JURIST report] in January 2013, which permitted Argentinian authorities to question the Iranian suspects [JTA report] under Interpol arrest warrants, but only in Tehran. The agreement also angered Jewish groups [WSJ report], who said that the deal empowered Iran without bringing any suspects to justice. Argentinian Foreign Relations Minister Hector Timerman [official website, in Spanish] announced that he plans to appeal the decision, saying that it was unprecedented for a court to strike down an international treaty. No one has been convicted in connection with the bombing, which killed 85 people and injured more than 300 others.

Argentina has been involved in several high-profile international legal disputes in recent months. In April the US Supreme Court [official website] heard arguments [JURIST report] on whether a hedge fund could subpoena banks for information about Argentina's non-US assets following the country's default on $100 billion in sovereign debt in 2002. Earlier in April the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) [official website] found [JURIST report] that Argentine authorities had failed to ensure equal access and use of prison services and facilities for a prisoner with disabilities. In March the US Supreme Court ruled [JURIST report] in BG Group v. Republic of Argentina [SCOTUSblog backgrounder], an international arbitration case that raises the question of whether, in disputes involving a multi-staged dispute resolution process, a court or the arbitrator determines whether a precondition to arbitration has been satisfied. In February a court in Argentina ruled [JURIST report] that prosecutors cannot proceed with a case alleging former president Carlos Menem [official website, in Spanish] was involved in an explosion at a military weapons factory that destroyed much of the town Rio Tercero in 1995.

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