Truth v Justice The Morality of Truth Commissions

Author: Robert I. Rotberg
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400832033
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The truth commission is an increasingly common fixture of newly democratic states with repressive or strife-ridden pasts. From South Africa to Haiti, truth commissions are at work with varying degrees of support and success. To many, they are the best--or only--way to achieve a full accounting of crimes committed against fellow citizens and to prevent future conflict. Others question whether a restorative justice that sets the guilty free, that cleanses society by words alone, can deter future abuses and allow victims and their families to heal. Here, leading philosophers, lawyers, social scientists, and activists representing several perspectives look at the process of truth commissioning in general and in post-apartheid South Africa. They ask whether the truth commission, as a method of seeking justice after conflict, is fair, moral, and effective in bringing about reconciliation. The authors weigh the virtues and failings of truth commissions, especially the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, in their attempt to provide restorative rather than retributive justice. They examine, among other issues, the use of reparations as social policy and the granting of amnesty in exchange for testimony. Most of the contributors praise South Africa's decision to trade due process for the kinds of truth that permit closure. But they are skeptical that such revelations produce reconciliation, particularly in societies that remain divided after a compromise peace with no single victor, as in El Salvador. Ultimately, though, they find the truth commission to be a worthy if imperfect instrument for societies seeking to say "never again" with confidence. At a time when truth commissions have been proposed for Bosnia, Kosovo, Cyprus, East Timor, Cambodia, Nigeria, Palestine, and elsewhere, the authors' conclusion that restorative justice provides positive gains could not be more important. In addition to the editors, the contributors are Amy Gutmann, Rajeev Bhargava, Elizabeth Kiss, David A. Crocker, André du Toit, Alex Boraine, Dumisa Ntsebeza, Lisa Kois, Ronald C. Slye, Kent Greenawalt, Sanford Levinson, Martha Minow, Charles S. Maier, Charles Villa-Vicencio, and Wilhelm Verwoerd.

Truth Commissions and Transitional Societies

Author: Eric Wiebelhaus-Brahm
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135189722
Format: PDF
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This book uses a multi-method approach to examine the impact of truth commissions on subsequent human rights protection and democratic practice and features cross-national case studies on South Africa, El Salvador, Chile and Uganda.

Victim Healing and Truth Commissions

Author: Holly L. Guthrey
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319124870
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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​This book intends to contribute to the growing body of transitional justice literature by providing insight into how truth commissions may be beneficial to victims of mass violence, based on data collected in Timor-Leste and on the Solomon Islands. Drawing on literature in the fields of victim psychology, procedural justice, and transitional justice, this study is guided by the puzzle of why truth-telling in post-conflict settings has been found to be both helpful and harmful to victims of mass violence. Existing studies have identified a range of positive benefits and negative consequences of truth-telling for victims; however, the reasons why some victims experience a sense of healing while others do not after participating in post-conflict truth commission processes continues to remain unclear. Hence, to address one piece of this complex puzzle, this book seeks to begin clarifying how truth-telling may be beneficial for victims by investigating the question: What pathways lead from truth-telling to victim healing in post-conflict settings? Building on the proposition that having voice—a key component of procedural justice—can help individuals to overcome the disempowerment and marginalisation of victimisation, this book investigates voice as a causal mechanism that can create pathways toward healing within truth commission public hearings. Comparative, empirical studies that investigate how truth-telling contributes to victim healing in post-conflict settings are scarce in the field of transitional justice. This book begins to fill an important gap in the existing body of literature. From a practical standpoint, by enhancing understanding of how truth commissions can promote healing, the findings and arguments in this volume provide insight into how the design of transitional justice processes may be improved in the future to better respond to the needs of victims of mass violence.

Crime Truth and Justice

Author: George Gilligan
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134031785
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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This book is concerned to analyse the production of criminological knowledge, with particular reference to one of the most important institutions in the western world involved in this -the official inquiry. The core focus of this book is thus to investigate the structures and processes of official discourse, and the ways in which this produces knowledge on crime and justice - a much neglected topic in comparison to the attention that has been played to the role of the media in this process. The mechanisms that produce official discourse vary according to different jurisdiction, but some clear themes nevertheless emerge.

A Moral Theory of Political Reconciliation

Author: Colleen Murphy
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 113949225X
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Following extended periods of conflict or repression, political reconciliation is indispensable to the establishment or restoration of democratic relationships and critical to the pursuit of peacemaking globally. In this book, Colleen Murphy offers an innovative analysis of the moral problems plaguing political relationships under the strain of civil conflict and repression. Focusing on the unique moral damage that attends the deterioration of political relationships, Murphy identifies the precise kinds of repair and transformation that processes of political reconciliation ought to promote. Building on this analysis, she proposes a normative model of political relationships. A Moral Theory of Political Reconciliation delivers an original account of the failure and restoration of political relationships, which will be of interest to philosophers, social scientists, legal scholars, policy analysts, and all those who are interested in transitional justice, global politics, and democracy.

History Memory and State Sponsored Violence

Author: Berber Bevernage
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136634444
Format: PDF, Docs
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Modern historiography embraces the notion that time is irreversible, implying that the past should be imagined as something ‘absent’ or ‘distant.’ Victims of historical injustice, however, in contrast, often claim that the past got ‘stuck’ in the present and that it retains a haunting presence. History, Memory, and State-Sponsored Violence is centered around the provocative thesis that the way one deals with historical injustice and the ethics of history is strongly dependent on the way one conceives of historical time; that the concept of time traditionally used by historians is structurally more compatible with the perpetrators’ than the victims’ point of view. Demonstrating that the claim of victims about the continuing presence of the past should be taken seriously, instead of being treated as merely metaphorical, Berber Bevernage argues that a genuine understanding of the ‘irrevocable’ past demands a radical break with modern historical discourse and the concept of time. By embedding a profound philosophical reflection on the themes of historical time and historical discourse in a concrete series of case studies, this project transcends the traditional divide between ‘empirical’ historiography on the one hand and the so called ‘theoretical’ approaches to history on the other. It also breaks with the conventional ‘analytical’ philosophy of history that has been dominant during the last decades, raising a series of long-neglected ‘big questions’ about the historical condition – questions about historical time, the unity of history, and the ontological status of present and past –programmatically pleading for a new historical ethics.

Unspeakable Truths

Author: Priscilla B. Hayner
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135245576
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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In a sweeping review of forty truth commissions, Priscilla Hayner delivers a definitive exploration of the global experience in official truth-seeking after widespread atrocities. When Unspeakable Truths was first published in 2001, it quickly became a classic, helping to define the field of truth commissions and the broader arena of transitional justice. This second edition is fully updated and expanded, covering twenty new commissions formed in the last ten years, analyzing new trends, and offering detailed charts that assess the impact of truth commissions and provide comparative information not previously available. Placing the increasing number of truth commissions within the broader expansion in transitional justice, Unspeakable Truths surveys key developments and new thinking in reparations, international justice, healing from trauma, and other areas. The book challenges many widely-held assumptions, based on hundreds of interviews and a sweeping review of the literature. This book will help to define how these issues are addressed in the future.

Shaping Truth Reshaping Justice

Author: Nneoma V. Nwogu
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780739122495
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Shaping Truth, Reshaping Justice is the first scholarly analysis of the Nigerian truth commission and provides academic material for a comparative study of African truth commissions. It relates to other academic analyses of truth commissions by uniquely providing an exposition and examination of the Nigerian truth experience.

Democracy and the Political Unconscious

Author: Noëlle McAfee
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231511124
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Political philosopher Noëlle McAfee proposes a powerful new political theory for our post-9/11 world, in which an old pathology-the repetition compulsion-has manifested itself in a seemingly endless war on terror. McAfee argues that the quintessentially human desire to participate in a world with others is the key to understanding the public sphere and to creating a more democratic society, a world that all members can have a hand in shaping. But when some are effectively denied this participation, whether through trauma or terror, instead of democratic politics, there arises a political unconscious, an effect of desires unarticulated, failures to sublimate, voices kept silent, and repression reenacted. Not only is this condition undemocratic and unjust, it may lead to further trauma. Unless its troubles are worked through, a political community risks continual repetition and even self-destruction. McAfee deftly weaves together her experience as an observer of democratic life with an array of intellectual schemas, from poststructural psychoanalysis to Rawlsian and Habermasian democratic theories, as well as semiotics, civic republicanism, and American pragmatism. She begins with an analysis of the traumatic effects of silencing members of a political community. Then she explores the potential of deliberative dialogue and other "talking cures" and public testimonies, such as the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, to help societies work through, rather than continually act out, their conflicts. Democracy and the Political Unconscious is rich in theoretical insights, but it is also grounded in the practical problems of those who are trying to process the traumas of oppression, terror, and brutality and create more decent and democratic societies. Drawing on a breathtaking range of theoretical frameworks and empirical observations, Democracy and the Political Unconscious charts a course for democratic transformation in a world sorely lacking in democratic practice.