Truth Commissions

Can countries heal after atrocities?

  • By:Jina Moore
  • Content Type: Report
  • Publisher: CQ Press
    • Publication year: 2010
    • Online pub date:
  • DOI:


After war and unspeakable violence, countries around the world face the challenge of moving forward while dealing with the past. But what should justice look like? From Bosnia to Burundi, from Argentina to Timor-Leste, millions of people around the world have been brutalized by genocide, torture, kidnappings and disappearances of loved ones — often at the hands of their own governments and countrymen. Today countries have a variety of legal options, known as transitional justice, including truth commissions — official panels that investigate atrocities and create authoritative records of past abuses. Truth-telling can foster social healing and reconciliation, supporters say, but early research suggests that results have been mixed. Other countries seek justice through international trials or tribunals. In the end, justice — however it ...

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