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.
Francesca Lessa is Postdoctoral Research Assistant at the Latin American Centre and Research Fellow at St Anne's College, University of Oxford, where she works on 'The Impact of Transitional Justice on Human Rights and Democracy', a project funded by the US National Science Foundation and the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council. Before joining the University of Oxford, she was Research Associate for the Latin America International Affairs Programme, IDEAS Centre, at the London School of Economics, and visiting Lecturer on Transitional Justice and Human Rights at the Faculty of Psychology, University of the Republic, Montevideo, Uruguay. Lessa is co-editor (with Vincent Druliolle) of The Memory of State Terrorism in the Southern Cone: Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay (2011) and (with Gabriela Fried) of Luchas contra la impunidad: Uruguay, 1985-2011 (2011). Leigh A. Payne is Professor of Sociology and Latin America at the University of Oxford and Governing Body Fellow of St Antony's College. She is currently a visiting professor at the University of Minnesota. She is the recipient of numerous research awards including one, most recently, from the US National Science Foundation and the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council for a collaborative research project entitled 'The Impact of Transitional Justice on Human Rights and Democracy'. She co-edited (with Ksenija Bilbija) Accounting for Memory: Marketing Memory in Latin America (2011) and co-authored (with Tricia D. Olsen and Andrew Reiter) Transitional Justice in Balance: Comparing Processes, Weighing Efficacy (2010). Her most recent solo authored book is Unsettling Accounts: Neither Truth nor Reconciliation in Confessions of State Violence (2008).
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 Abrao; 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.