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Reading: The Impact of Transitional Justice on Colombia’s Rule of Law

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Scholarly Article

The Impact of Transitional Justice on Colombia’s Rule of Law

Author:

Craig K Lang

Franklin & Marshall College, US
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Abstract

Little is known about the effects of transitional justice on the development of the rule of law. In Colombia, this Andean nation has used transitional mechanisms for more than a decade, and as part of the 2016 peace accord it is launching a second wave of transitional trials, a truth commission, amnesties, and reparations. Utilizing a case-study design, this article measures the impact of Colombia’s first wave, i.e., the Justice and Peace process, across five key rule of law indicators. Despite expectations in the literature that domestic trials are the primary casual mechanisms in enhancing the rule of law, this analysis finds that in the case of Colombia restorative elements, namely amnesties and reparations, were the drivers of limited change. More comprehensive reform was blocked by structural flaws within Law 975, the government’s ever-changing transitional framework, and the absence of the state in former conflict zones.

How to Cite: Lang, C.K., 2019. The Impact of Transitional Justice on Colombia’s Rule of Law. Middle Atlantic Review of Latin American Studies, 3(1), pp.15–34. DOI: http://doi.org/10.23870/marlas.234
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Published on 29 Jun 2019.
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