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The Role of Amnesties in Conflict Transformation

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Mallinder, Louise (2009) The Role of Amnesties in Conflict Transformation. In: The Effectiveness of International Criminal Justice. (Eds: Ryngaert, Cedric), Intersentia, pp. 195-234. ISBN 978-90-5095-812-7 [Book section]

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Abstract

Amnesty laws are introduced during and after conflicts for a diverse array of reasons. These can range from amnesties that release members of banned organisations from prison, to amnesties that protect combatants from investigation and prosecution. These amnesties can be introduced in good faith to enable peace talks to proceed, to comply with international pressure to release political prisoners, or in recognition that the parties have fought themselves to a stalemate. In some cases, parties to conflicts have also used amnesties cynically in order to ‘buy’ time to re-equip and find new recruits.Amnesty laws also have considerable differences in scope. Traditionally, many amnesties following conflicts simply offered an automatic amnesty to all combatants regardless of which crimes they committed or the level of responsibility of the offender. However, in recent years, states are increasingly introducing amnesties that are conditional on individual applicants performing certain tasks, such as surrendering and disarming, and telling the truth about their actions. This chapter will explore the role of these individualised, conditional amnesties in conflict transformation processes at individual, communal, national and international levels.

Item Type:Book section
Keywords:amnesty, conflict, conflict transformation, new wars, peace agreements, transitional justice
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Social Sciences
Research Institutes and Groups:Transitional Justice Institute
ID Code:2264
Deposited By:Dr Louise Mallinder
Deposited On:06 Jan 2010 21:32
Last Modified:06 Jan 2010 21:32

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