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Exploring the Practice of States in Introducing Amnesties

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Mallinder, Louise (2008) Exploring the Practice of States in Introducing Amnesties. In: Building a Future on Peace and Justice: Studies on Transitional Justice, Conflict Resolution and Development - The Nuremberg Declaration on Peace and Justice. Springer, pp. 127-173. ISBN 3540857532 [Book section]

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Abstract

Although amnesty laws have ancient origins, today their use as po-litical tools increasingly triggers protest from human rights activists, who argue that amnesties for serious violations of human rights are prohibited under customary international law. These claims will be assessed in this chapter through a systematic cross-country analysis of amnesties since the Second World War. This chapter will use the Amnesty Law Database, which was created by the author, to explore state practice and place considerations of the legal framework against impunity within a factual context. It will highlight patterns in state practice such as the relationship between amnesties and truth commissions, and explore whether states are moving away from granting amnesty for crimes under international law. This chapter will argue that there is a wide disparity in state practice relating to the types of amnesty laws introduced, with some aiming to provide victims with a remedy, whereas others aim to create complete impu-nity for perpetrators. The chapter will argue that this disparity indi-cates that amnesties can be tailored to meet specific strategic and le-gal objectives. It will conclude by assessing the impact of the relationship between the different forms of amnesty and reconcilia-tion.

Item Type:Book section
Keywords:amnesty; transitional justice; truth commissions; international criminal law
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Social Sciences
Research Institutes and Groups:Transitional Justice Institute
ID Code:2265
Deposited By:Dr Louise Mallinder
Deposited On:06 Jan 2010 21:31
Last Modified:06 Jan 2010 21:31

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