Source: (2001) Australian Journal of Human Rights. 7(1): 47-76. Downloaded 16 November 2005.

In recent years, various kinds of truth and reconciliation commissions have been conducted to address injustices and human rights violations in many countries. The best known example may be the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Yet it is not the only instance. Where they have been used, they have been intended to bring the light of truth to bear on dark periods and places in a country’s history, whether more recent or more distant in time. The assumption is that unveiling the truth appears to be a pre-condition of any genuine reconciliation. On these bases, Garth Nettheim explores the question of establishing a truth and reconciliation commission to detail and disseminate the truth of what happened to aboriginal people in Australia under British colonization. To come to grips with this question, he looks at government commissions that have inquired into parts of this history or experience, the nature of reconciliation, the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation, citizenship and equal rights, and challenges for Australian law.


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