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This book is about amnesties for grave international crimes that are adopted by states in moments of transition or social unrest. The subject is naturally controversial, especially in the age of the International Criminal Court. The goal of this book is to reframe and revitalize the global debate on the subject, and to offer an original framework for resolving amnesty dilemmas when they arise. Most existing literature and jurisprudence on amnesties deal with only a small subset of state practice and sidestep the ambiguity of amnesty's position under international law. This book addresses the ambiguity head on and argues that amnesties of the broadest scope are sometimes defensible when adopted as a last recourse in contexts of mass violence. Drawing on an extensive amnesty database, the book offers detailed guidance on how to ensure that amnesties extend the minimum leniency possible, while imposing the maximum accountability on the beneficiaries.
"Clutch Hitter! It was the bottom of the eighth, the Elmira Sox down 3-0 to the St. Catherines Blue Jays. With two outs and the bases loaded, the Sox dugout was alive, screaming for a rally. "Now batting for the Sox . . . David Green!" the PA. announced. David dug in at the .plate and waited. The pitcher went into his stretch and fired low and away. Ball one. The next pitch was wildly high, forcing the catcher to reach over his head to grab it. Ball two. "They're gonna walk him with the bases loaded and give us a token run," gasped the Elmira coach, "rather than risk a grand slam!" David saw the next pitch coming, a waist-high fastball almost a foot off the outside corner of the plate. For anyone else it would be another ball. But it looked good enough to David. He went into his power swing and connected with a solid crack!"
This is the first law book devoted entirely to the subject of truth commissions. The book sets forth standards of procedural fairness aimed at protecting the rights of those who come into contact with truth commissions - primarily victims and their families, witnesses, and perpetrators. The aim of the book is to provide recommended criteria of procedural fairness for five possible components of a truth commission's mandate: the taking of statements, the use of subpoenas, the exercise of powers of search and seizure, the holding of victim-centered public hearings, and the publication of findings of individual responsibility in a final report (sometimes called the issue of 'naming names'). The book draws on the experience of past and present truth commissions, analogous national and multilateral investigative bodies, and international and comparative standards of procedural fairness.
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