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2012 | The Justice, Law and Order Sector Transitional Justice Working Group, The Amnesty Law (2000) Issues Paper

This issues paper was written in early 2012, when the Amnesty Act was due to expire and when a decision had to be made whether to let it lapse or whether to renew the Act. It was written to assist members of the Formal Criminal Jurisdiction Sub-Committee of the Transitional Justice Working Group (TJWG) of the Justice Law and Order Sector (JLOS) with the making of this decision.

One argument in the paper is that by barring prosecution of serious crimes, victims of these crimes are denied justice and reparations. It suggests the amnesty should be linked with other transitional justice processes such as reparations, as well as truth-seeking, traditional justice and judicial accountability. The promotion of these mechanisms can be best done by the prompt adoption of the national transitional justice policy. This policy was already under development at the moment but has not been adopted by Cabinet to date. The Amnesty Act was renewed without changes. However, the Supreme Court reinterpreted the Act in early 2015 to mean that serious violations can be prosecuted.