African Truth Commissions and Transitional Justice
African Truth Commissions and Transitional Justice examines the functioning of truth commissions in Africa, outlining the lessons learned, the best practices, and the successes and failures of seven African truth commissions. Its introduction and conclusion then work further to place truth commissions within the growing academic field of transitional justice. The first African truth commission was convened by the despot Idi Amin for reasons unrelated to the defense of human rights, but despite this ambiguous beginning, other African truth commissions have done important work. The South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission of 1996 has become the ‘gold standard’ for future truth commissions not only in Africa, but throughout the world: it unearthed much truth about the Apartheid era abuse of human rights and took vital first steps towards restorative justice in the Republic. Each truth commission is distinctive. However, although much has been written about South Africa’s truth commissions, much less is known about the other six studied in this book—and an attentive reader will notice the suggestive patterns which emerge.
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