Rule-of-Law Tools for Post Conflict States: Truth Commissions

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United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

This publication sets out basic principles and approaches to truth commissions and is intended to assist policymakers in advising on the development of truth-seeking mechanisms. It summarizes lessons learned from the experiences of over 30 truth commissions in the past two to three decades. While truth commissions do not replace the need for prosecutions, they do offer some form of accounting for the past. The work of a truth commission may strengthen prosecutions that take place in the future.