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. Drawing on the experience of 13 state sponsored truth commissions in Latin America in the period 1985-2016, this paper 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. Although the focus here is on Latin American truth commissions, the analytical framework for analysing the implementation of truth commission recommendations should also be applicable to truth commissions in other parts of the world.

Elin Skaar

Senior Researcher, Coordinator: Rights and Legal Institutions

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