The Truth And Reconciliation Commission From South Africa

1358 WordsAug 31, 20146 Pages
The degree of success achieved by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in South Africa is a topic of great debate. Following the end of apartheid in 1994, the TRC came into operation in South Africa on the 19th of July 1995 (Stanley 2001). After an era of repression and human rights abuses there was a significant need for a form of transitional justice that not only addressed the torment endured by much of the population but also ensured that the structural inequalities of the past were properly dealt with. It was essential that South Africa 's new political strategy encompassed the key aspects of social justice, the rule of law and reconciliation (Stanley 2001). A major aspect of TRCs is the promotion of truth to instigate a process of healing and result in successful reconciliation (Wilson 2003). However there are strong arguments that the TRC did not adequately address these issues and was therefore not successful in achieving the objectives set out in its mandate. This paper will discuss the main strengths and weaknesses of the TRC in South Africa as well as querying whether other forms of transitional justice would have been more appropriate for this situation. Furthermore it will discuss the use of the International Criminal Court around the world and whether this is a more appropriate form of transitional justice. One of the main limitations of the TRC in South Africa that has been presented is a lack of commitment by both the commission itself and the
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