Source: (2000) Social & Legal Studies. 9(2): 179-204.

This article aims to situate the fascinating and deeply controversial work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa within a theoretical context that may explain how its attempt to overcome the tensions between truth seeking and amnesty giving stumbled on its use of law to bring about reconciliation. It locates the root of the problem in the dual nature of the TRC as public confessional and legal tribunal, and underlying it the incongruent logic of law on the one hand and reconciliation on the other, the former requiring the reductions of risks, the latter requiring risk to be embraced. Author's abstract.