Courts are preferable to truth commissions in dealing with past human rights abuses. Discuss.

Courts are preferable to truth commissions in dealing with past human rights abuses. Discuss.

Essential Reading

  1. Accountability I: amnesty, impunity, and truth commissions

How should we address systematic gross violations of human rights? One answer is to help a society find the “truth” of what happened during a particular period in its history so that it can move beyond it. In some cases there may be worries that forces from a previous regime may destabilize a post-conflict/democratic transition if they are threatened with punishment for their previous actions. Does the greater good of society outweigh letting human rights abusers go free? Are truth and justice irreconcilable?

 

  • Video: Long Night’s Journey Into Day (in class)

 

 

 

  • Additional readings and resources:

 

 

  1. Accountability II: war crimes tribunals, and universal jurisdiction

How does the international community address gross violations of human rights? Have the international courts that the UN has set up been successful? Do they provide justice?

 

  • Debate: The International Criminal Court will not make the world a safer place

 

 

  • Additional readings and resources:

 

Steven C. Roach, ed. Governance, Order and the International Criminal Court: Between Realpolitik and a Cosmopolitan Court. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009. Ebook

 

 

 

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Criminal Prosecution or Truth Commission?

Intro 350

Body 2000

Conclusion 300

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