The South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission: a suitable model to enhance the role and rights of victims of gross violations of human rights?
Garkawe, SB 2003, 'The South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission: a suitable model to enhance the role and rights of the victims of gross violations of human rights?', Melbourne University Law Review, vol. 27, no. 2, pp. 334-380.
The South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission is one of the most talked about innovative, but also highly controversial mechanisms used by a state 'in transition' to provide a form of accountability for its past perpetrators of human rights abuses. This article will, from the perspective of the victims of repression, critically analyse the benefits and drawbacks of the TRC's three primary processes - the amnesty hearing, the victims' hearings and the formulation of its policies on rehabilitation and reparation. This analysis provides some important lessons and recommendations for how the establishment and implementation of future truth commissions can maximise the benefits to those who have so often been forgotten in past attempts to establish accountability mechanisms - namely, the victims and survivors of gross violations of human rights.