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Amnesty in the Age of Human Rights Accountability


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This edited volume brings together well-established and emerging scholars of transitional justice to discuss the persistence of amnesty in the age of human rights accountability. The volume attempts to reframe debates, moving beyond the limited approaches of 'truth versus justice' or 'stability versus accountability' in which many of these issues have been cast in the existing scholarship. The theoretical and empirical contributions in this book offer new ways of understanding and tackling the enduring persistence of amnesty in the age of accountability. In addition to cross-national studies, the volume encompasses eleven country cases of amnesty for past human rights violations: Argentina, Brazil, Cambodia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Indonesia, Rwanda, South Africa, Spain, Uganda and Uruguay. The volume goes beyond merely describing these case studies, but also considers what we learn from them in terms of overcoming impunity and promoting accountability to contribute to improvements in human rights and democracy.

• Has a global reach with case studies from the Americas, Africa, Europe and Asia • Tackles both theoretically and empirically the question of amnesty, which has so far been left of the margins of the transitional justice literature • All contributors to the volume are specialists in transitional justice and country experts


Part I. Theoretical Framework: 1. The age of accountability: the rise of individual criminal accountability Kathryn Sikkink; 2. The amnesty controversy in international law Mark Freeman and Max Pensky; Part II. Comparative Case Studies: 3. Amnesties' challenge to the global accountability norm? Interpreting regional and international trends in amnesty enactment Louise Mallinder; 4. From amnesty to accountability: the ebbs and flows in the search for justice in Argentina Gabriel Pereira and Par Engstrom; 5. Barriers to justice: the Lley de Caducidad and impunity in Uruguay Francesca Lessa; 6. Resistance to change: Brazil's persistent amnesty and its alternatives for truth and justice Marcelo Torelly and Paulo Abrão; 7. De facto and de jure amnesty laws: the Central American case Naomi Roht-Arriaza and Emily Braid; 8. Creeks of justice: debating post-atrocity accountability in Rwanda and Uganda Phil Clark; 9. Accountability through conditional amnesty: the case of South Africa Antje du Bois-Pedain; 10. De facto amnesty? The example of post-Soeharto Indonesia Patrick Burgess; 11. A limited amnesty? Insights from Cambodia Ronald Slye; 12. The Spanish amnesty law of 1977 in comparative perspective: from a law for democracy to a law for impunity Paloma Aguilar; 13. Amnesty in the age of accountability Tricia D. Olsen, Leigh A. Payne and Andrew G. Reiter.


Kathryn Sikkink, Mark Freeman, Max Pensky, Louise Mallinder, Gabriel Pereira, Par Engstrom, Francesca Lessa, Marcelo Torelly, Paulo Abrão, Naomi Roht-Arriaza, Emily Braid, Phil Clark, Antje du Bois-Pedain, Patrick Burgess, Ronald Slye, Paloma Aguilar, Tricia D. Olsen, Leigh A. Payne, Andrew G. Reiter

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