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Truth and reconciliation commission


Truth and reconciliation commission

A world map showing all the truth and reconciliation commissions in Museum of Memory and Human Rights, Santiago, Chile.

A truth commission or truth and reconciliation commission is a commission tasked with discovering and revealing past wrongdoing by a government (or, depending on the circumstances, non-state actors also), in the hope of resolving conflict left over from the past. They are, under various names, occasionally set up by states emerging from periods of internal unrest, civil war, or dictatorship.

As government reports, they can provide proof against historical revisionism of state terrorism and other crimes and human rights abuses. Truth commissions are sometimes criticised for allowing crimes to go unpunished, and creating impunity for serious human rights abusers. Their roles and abilities in this respect depend on their mandates, which vary widely.

One of the difficult issues that has arisen over the role of truth commissions in transitional societies, has centered on what should be the relationship between truth commissions and criminal prosecutions.[1]

The first such commission was Argentina's Trial of the Juntas, the first major trial held for war crimes since the Nuremberg trials in Germany following World War II and the first to be conducted by a civilian court.


  • See also 1
  • References 2
  • Bibliography 3
  • External links 4

See also


  1. ^ See Lyal S. Sunga "Ten Principles for Reconciling Truth Commissions and Criminal Prosecutions", in The Legal Regime of the ICC (Brill) (2009) 1075-1108.


  • Priscilla B. Hayner, Unspeakable Truths: Facing Challenge of Truth Commissions. New York: Routledge, 2010.
  • , Paris, L'Harmattan, 2009.La mémoire et le pardon. Les commissions de la vérité et de la réconciliation en Amérique latineArnaud Martin,
  • Robert Rotberg and Dennis Thompson, eds., Truth versus Justice: The Morality of Truth Commissions. Princeton University Press, 2000. ISBN 978-0691050720

External links

  • Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Republic of Korea
  • Truth Commissions Digital Collection (United States Institute of Peace)
  • Truth Commission
  • The International Center for Transitional Justice's (ICTJ) Truth and Memory Page
  • Andrew Schaap, Reconciliation as ideology and politics
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