Transitional Justice Concepts
Amid or subsequent to a period of conflict or repression, acknowledging victims’ need for justice via compensation in both a symbolic and actual way is an important means through which the state can take some form of responsibility for the violations that it either committed or failed to prevent.
Regardless of the name they are given, the structure they take, and the scope they adopt, the purpose of truth-seeking measures is often the same: to construct a narrative about the period of conflict or repression.
Even a well-functioning domestic judiciary may not necessarily result in accountability for every abuse committed. For this reason, domestic trials cannot be the only transitional justice mechanism relied on by a country.
Depending on the political context following a period of repression and conflict, amnesties may be able to serve as a complementary transitional justice tool to support other mechanisms of justice; however, if abused, they can entirely fail to guarantee justice for the victims of crimes and further a culture of impunity.