Implementing Truth Commission Recommendations: Typologies and Hypotheses
Truth commissions have become an indispensable part of the transitional justice tool-kit in recent years. The anticipated impact of such commissions is usually related to two things: the issuing of a report and the implementation of the recommendations made in the report. The recommendations of truth commissions may have bearings on how societies heal and develop after violent conflict – intersecting and overlapping with good governance and development concerns. Yet, we know very little about whether, how, why, and which recommendations are in fact implemented – and when they are, with what effect. This paper takes stock of what we know and what we do not know. It proposes a typology for classifying truth commission recommendations, as well as a methodology for how to collect and analyse data on this under-researched phenomenon. The research project, of which this paper forms a part, focuses on Latin American truth commissions, but the analytical framework for analysing the implementation of truth commission recommendations should also be applicable to commissions in other parts of the world.
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