in the wake of September 11, the concept of international justice
is hotly debated, the Institute of Race Relations examines exactly
how well internal truth commissions have served the struggle for
justice. Leading criminologists, human rights lawyers and participants
in truth processes evaluate the role and impact of truth commissions
- of which there have been some 20 since the end of the Cold War.
From Guatamala and South Africa to the north of Ireland and Hillsborough,
the victims' truths are set here against state narratives. To find
out about ordering this edition, click here.
truth? Why now?', an introduction by Bill Rolston.
Stanley, of the Centre for Studies in Crime and Social Justice
at Edge Hill University College, examines the conspectus of issues
that truth commissions have thrown up.
Bacic, of War Resisters International, who was involved in the
Chilean truth process, explores, through literature and personal
experience, some of the issues that survivors of state brutality
have raised with her.
Seils, formerly of a Guatamalan human rights NGO and now of
the International Center for Transitional Justice, New York, uses
the Guatemalan experience to raise issues of how to seek justice
for victims and what this entails for both victims and those in
the service of a transitional state.
Hamber, of the Belfast think-tank, Democratic Dialogue, who
was involved in victim support groups and the truth process in South
Africa, gives an account of the South African TRC, the expectations
it raised, and what its yoking of 'truth' and 'reconciliation' signified.
His account is supplemented by Cahal McLaughlin, a writer and film-maker,
who describes one such South African victim support group, Khulumani.
Rolston, of the University of Jordanstown, Belfast, examines
the possible relevance of the truth process to the North of Ireland,
and the ways in which the British state attempts to present itself
as an impartial arbiter between the two communities when, in fact,
many abuses have taken place at the behest of the state itself.
Scraton, of the Centre for Studies in Crime and Social Justice
at Edge Hill University College examines the ways in which truth
is concealed or the search for truth manipulated by the authorities
in Britain, whether over deaths in custody, the practices of special
hospitals, or investigations into disasters such as Lockerbie or