Presentation Title

Amnesty or Prosecution: Dealing with the Legacy of Armed Conflict in Ireland and Internationally

Start Date

10-2-2021 11:00 AM

End Date

10-2-2021 12:15 PM

Proposal Type

Presentation

Proposal Description

Paper: Amnesty or Prosecution: The International Experience of Dealing with the Legacy of Armed Conflict

The paper provides an overview of the international experience of dealing with the legacy of armed conflict in ‘post conflict’ societies and the lessons this may provide for confllict transformation and peace building in Ireland. It discusses how ‘post-conflict’ peace processes and transitional justice mechanisms internationally in Africa, Latin America and Europe have sought to address the needs of ‘victims and survivors’ for justice and ‘closure’. In particular, it focuses on how the use of ‘amnesty’ and ‘prosecution’ have featured, in the context of International Human Rights Law and International Humanitarian Law, and the impact on notions of ‘justice’ and ‘reconciliation’. The paper argues that ‘prosecutions’ as a way of dealing with the legacy of armed conflicts are rare in post-conflict societies, and where they do occur they are disproportionately applied to the ‘losing’ side/s rather than all sides. One difficulty relates to the particular narrative of a conflict in terms of who was ‘right’ and who was ‘wrong’. Another difficulty relates to power. This poses challenges to the supposed ‘universality’ of human rights and the application of human rights based mechanisms at either national or international level. It also poses challenges to concepts of ‘justice’ and indeed ‘peace’ and ‘reconciliation’ in post conflict societies.

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Feb 10th, 11:00 AM Feb 10th, 12:15 PM

Amnesty or Prosecution: Dealing with the Legacy of Armed Conflict in Ireland and Internationally

Paper: Amnesty or Prosecution: The International Experience of Dealing with the Legacy of Armed Conflict

The paper provides an overview of the international experience of dealing with the legacy of armed conflict in ‘post conflict’ societies and the lessons this may provide for confllict transformation and peace building in Ireland. It discusses how ‘post-conflict’ peace processes and transitional justice mechanisms internationally in Africa, Latin America and Europe have sought to address the needs of ‘victims and survivors’ for justice and ‘closure’. In particular, it focuses on how the use of ‘amnesty’ and ‘prosecution’ have featured, in the context of International Human Rights Law and International Humanitarian Law, and the impact on notions of ‘justice’ and ‘reconciliation’. The paper argues that ‘prosecutions’ as a way of dealing with the legacy of armed conflicts are rare in post-conflict societies, and where they do occur they are disproportionately applied to the ‘losing’ side/s rather than all sides. One difficulty relates to the particular narrative of a conflict in terms of who was ‘right’ and who was ‘wrong’. Another difficulty relates to power. This poses challenges to the supposed ‘universality’ of human rights and the application of human rights based mechanisms at either national or international level. It also poses challenges to concepts of ‘justice’ and indeed ‘peace’ and ‘reconciliation’ in post conflict societies.