Reconciliation: A Case Study

Decent Essays
Truth commissions directly and broadly engage with the affected population through gathering information on their experiences. Truth commissions allow both perpetrators and victims to participate. They act as a process of empowerment for victims to come forward. Granting amnesty is a way to promote reconciliation as well as to encourage participation. In granting amnesty, perpetrators are not punished, but rather rewarded in return for an expression of truth. This can also be seen as counterproductive to transitional aims, for victims are not able to achieve closer for their harms suffered. The inclusion of reparation acts was an incentive to promote participation among perpetrators who would normally not participate in such proceedings due…show more content…
Even through victims are given the opportunity to participate in trials, tribunals, and truth commissions, without recognition and acknowledgment of their victimhood and the harm endured by international law and state governments, transitional justice measures are impractical. As noted by Kathleen Mahoney, the reconciliatory process needs to be a genuine expression (Mahoney 524). Governments must be willing to provide the closure that victims…show more content…
Under the alternative dispute resolution model for Aboriginal communities, harms such as loss of language, culture, and tradition were not seen as legal wrongs appropriate for consideration. Secondary harms to parents, grandparents, spouses, and descendants were completely ignored (Mahoney 512). This lack of recognition limits the scope for reconciliation. It is important to not just simply remembering what the government recognizes as a harm; for there to be reconciliation, the entire past needs to be remembered or the healing process will never be complete. As addressed by Campbell, remembering the past is held to a higher standard than solely acknowledging harms. Bosnia-Herzegovinian, formerly part of Yugoslavia, government’s wished to simply “move on and forget about the past” (Campbell 147). Society is burdened with carrying the trauma of past generations. Governments need to remember more than the victims because strictly seeking closure on the past will not guarantee reconciliation. The past impacts the present and will impact the future. Without the willingness to take accountability, the process of remembering the past and seeking reconciliation would be severely
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