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Repairing the Future: The South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission at Work

Leman-Langlois, Stephane
June 4, 2015

Source: (2004) In, George Gilligan and John Pratt, eds, Crime, Truth and Justice. Portland, OR and Devon, UK: Willan Publishing.Pp. 222-242.

Truth commissions tend to be mounted at times of political transition in order to discover the “truthâ€? about the illegitimacy of past political regimes. The truth discovered through such truth commissions tends to promote the transition of political power and enhance the new authority by shining light on the old political authorities’ illegitimate activities. The current analysis examines two aspects of the TRC work: the collection of knowledge that is authorized as truth and how knowledge becomes qualified as truth. The authors assert that truth commissions enact possibilities that are desirable under new authorities, possibilities such as victim’s dignity. The TRC is viewed as creating or enacting both democracy and justice by exposing the official version of truth about victims, perpetrators, and apartheid. Abstract courtesy of National Criminal Justice Reference Service,


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