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“Judging Transitional Justice: A New Criterion For Evaluating Truth Revelation Procedures”

Kaminski, Marek M.
June 4, 2015

Source: (2006) Journal of Conflict Resolution. 50(3): 383-408.

Truth revelation procedures are evaluated according to various normative criteria. The authors find the
concepts of false conviction and false acquittal more adequate for such evaluation than the conformity
with the rule of law and apply a useful classification of truth revelation procedures into incentive-based
(ITRs) and evidence-based ones (ETRs). ITRs induce perpetrators and secret agents of the authoritarian
regime to reveal the truth about their past, while ETRs rely exclusively on preserved evidence and
victims’ testimonies. Using a simple decision-making model, the authors show that while both procedures
are sensitive to the problem of falsified evidence, ITRs perform better with respect to revealing the identity
of collaborators whose files were destroyed. Finally, they discuss the connection between ITRs and
two modes of coming to terms with the past, endogenous and exogenous.


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