Comparing the Effectiveness of Accountability Mechanisms in Eastern Europe and Latin America

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Overview
  • INSTITUTE:
    UNU-Centre
    PUBLISHER:
    United Nations University Press
    VOLUME:
    Policy Brief No. 5, 2009
    TITLE:
    Comparing the Effectiveness of Accountability Mechanisms in Eastern Europe and Latin America
    AUTHORS:
    by Johanna Stratton, Kalle Huebner and Vesselin Popovski
    PUB DATE:
    2009•12•27
    ISSN WEB:
    1814-8026
    ISBN 10:
    978-92-808-3075-0
    COPYRIGHT:
    Licensed under the Creative Commons Deed “Attribution-NonCommercialNoDerivs 2.5”

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    A society that transitions from authoritarianism or armed conflict to a democracy needs to address important questions of justice and accountability for past human rights abuses in order to build a stable and peaceful future. In the rapidly maturing field of transitional justice an expanding number of initiatives have taken place providing valuable lessons for newly democratizing societies. This policy brief reviews the experiences of transition countries in Latin America and Eastern Europe in undertaking various accountability mechanisms: truth commissions, trials and amnesties in Latin America; and lustration, opening of secret service files, compensation and restitution in Eastern Europe. It identifies variables which may determine the effectiveness of certain mechanisms, and builds on the expanding body of evidence-based research.