75 per cent of amnesties adopted 75% since 1990 related to conflict
49 per cent of comprehensive peace agreements adopted in the same period provided for amnesty
83 per cent of peace agreement amnesty commitments were implemented
208 peace agreements provide for various forms of amnesty
55 agreements provide for amnesty alongside provision for judicial and/or non-judicial accountability mechanisms
The obligation to investigate what happened and who was responsible
The obligation to prosecute those responsible
The obligation to provide remedies for victims
The obligation to prevent the recurrence of the crimes and abuses
The obligation to ensure the effective protection of human rights for the future
This trend holds true for all phases from conflict to peace. In contrast, state actors benefited from 72 (25%) of the 289 conflict-related amnesties and of these only 14 (5%) applied exclusively to state actors.
The Commission may undertake a Community Reconciliation Process only in cases where a person has made an admission of responsibility based on a full appreciation of the nature and consequences of such admission and has voluntarily requested to participate in a Community Reconciliation Process (Section 22.4, emphasis added).
Under Section 23.1, the person requesting to participate in the Community Reconciliation Process is required to submit a written statement describing and admitting responsibility for their acts, explaining how the acts were connected to the political conflicts in Timor Leste, and renouncing ‘the use of violence to achieve political objectives’.
If the truth commission determines that the person is eligible to take part in a CRP, provided that the person participates fully and no credible evidence of their involvement in serious crimes comes to light, according to Section 27.7, after the hearing the CRP Panel shall deliberate upon the act of reconciliation which it considers most appropriate for the Deponent and inform the Deponent of the outcome of their deliberations. The act of reconciliation may include:
public apology; and/or
other act of contrition.
The participant in the process then has to agree in writing to undertake the act of reconciliation. Prosecution for the acts disclosed in the CRP will then be stayed, unless the person does not comply with the terms of the reconciliation agreement.
Amnesties are more legitimate the more their:
Amnesties enacted in this period are among those offering the broadest impunity. Similarly, the risk of broader impunity rises when amnesty benefits state actors.
See publications at: www.politicalsettlements.org/publications-database
In particular: Mallinder, L. (2018). Amnesties and Inclusive Political Settlements (PA-X Report, Transitional Justice Series) Edinburgh: Global Justice Academy, University of Edinburgh.
The PSRP is funded by DFID UK Aid for the alleviation of poverty, who accept no liability for the content.