Transitional justice in Colombia: unrealized potential

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Author: Aleksandr Evseev

DOI: 10.21128/2226-2059-2020-4-77-99

Keywords: Colombia; deaths illegitimately presented as casualties in combat; International Criminal Court; post-conflict settlement; Special Jurisdiction for Peace; transitional justice


The article analyzes the theoretical and practical problems that arise during the construction of the Colombian model of transitional justice. The latter is viewed as a combination of judicial and quasi-judicial means, with the help of which it becomes possible to achieve a peaceful settlement after the end of the civil war of 1964–2016. Particular attention is paid to the socio-political context and mass sentiments prevailing in Colombian society regarding the legitimacy of transferring the Anglo-American construction of Transitional Justice to Latin America. The so-called “Integrated System of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Non-Repetition”, which is a consolidated version of the four main elements of transitional justice: criminal prosecution, truth seeking, reparations to the innocent victims and “deal with the past”, is being studied in detail. In particular, the author dwells on the issue of amnesties for participants in an armed conflict, the activities of the “truth commission” and compensation payments to victims of mass violence. In addition, the article examines the activities of the Colombian Special Jurisdiction for Peace, the relevant statistical data are provided. The “Santrich case” is mentioned as a marker of negative trends that continue to grow in the activities of a new jurisdiction. The conclusion is that the legal means of resolving the conflict are secondary, albeit of absolute importance, in comparison with political agreements, to which all participants of the process of national reconciliation sometimes are not ready organizationally and psychologically.

About the author: Aleksandr Evseev – Candidate of Sciences (Ph.D.) in Law, Associate Professor, Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia.

Citation: Evseev A. (2020) Perekhodnoe pravosudie v Kolumbii: nerealizovannyy potentsial [Transitional justice in Colombia: unrealized potential]. Mezhdunarodnoe pravosudie, vol.10, no.4, pp.77–99. (In Russian).


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