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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:In exchange for truth: the Polish lustrations and the South African amnesty process
Author:David, RomanISNI
Periodical:Politikon: South African Journal of Political Studies
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:conflict resolution
truth and reconciliation commissions
political change
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/02589340600618131
Abstract:Poland and South Africa have each inherited a similar legacy of human rights violations perpetrated by previous authoritarian regimes. They each underwent complicated political transitions and used similar methods for dealing with the remnants of their previous regimes. South Africa granted amnesty from criminal prosecution to perpetrators in exchange for truth about their involvement in the violations of the past. In Poland leading public posts were granted in accordance with the same principle of truth exchange. However, existing frameworks for the study of transitional justice do not allow for immediate comparison of the relative benefits and pitfalls of granting amnesty to criminals vis--vis measures to provide public sector employment. This paper extends the existing framework of transitional justice and appies it to the study of the major policy choices of the Polish lustration process (1999-2002) and the South African amnesty process (1996-2000). It looks in particular at five components of the transitional justice process that create major policy dilemmas: the formal scope of truth, the choice of particular procedures, sanctions, transparency and impartiality. The Polish-South African comparison provides a more nuanced understanding of the institutional mechanisms that allow for the utilization of the meaning of truth in complicated transitions from authoritarian regimes. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]