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Transitional justice: The way forward

Transitional justice: The way forward

Reflecting upon the intricate challenge of harmonizing theoretical principles with the practical facets agreed upon by political parties and commissions in previous political discussions, the ongoing discourse on transitional justice is deeply engaging. Almost 17 years have elapsed since the signing of the peace agreement, yet transitional justice persists as a sensitive and complex matter. There exists a unanimous consensus that for the peace agreement to be truly meaningful, the process of creating and implementing laws, along with the effective functioning of commissions, is imperative.

Transitional justice is not merely a concern for specific political entities but also a national priority. The key lies in fostering unity and responsibility among political parties, extending beyond legal technicalities. Moreover, strict adherence to the Supreme Court's interpretation and orders throughout the transitional justice process is a crucial aspect of moving forward.

It is important to recognize the prevalence of misleading narratives surrounding transitional justice and advocate for careful discussions to dispel such misconceptions. A special committee comprising experts and members having diverse political backgrounds must be formed and this committee should play a pivotal role in providing recommendations on the bill related to transitional justice. It is necessary to address ambiguities in the bill concerning the violation of human rights and crimes against humanity through simplified definitions.

Key recommendations are the significance of inclusivity when establishing a commission for truth-seeking, reconciliation and the identification of victims of transitional justice. Emphasis should be on the inclusion of individuals with national recognition and subject-specific expertise. Furthermore, tasks related to transitional justice, encompassing truth-seeking, prosecution, reparations and institutional reforms, need prioritizing.

Underscoring the importance of embracing restorative and transformative justice concepts involves active involvement of victims in the dialogue process to gain their trust and effectively address their grievances. The report puts forward a comprehensive approach that includes truth-seeking, prosecutions for crimes committed, reparations for the victims and institutional reforms to prevent future injustices.

There should be no fight against the victims of the war. Urging introspection among all stakeholders, emphasizing the need to expedite the transitional justice process and putting an end to injustice—these must be our priorities. The event, which served as a platform for prominent figures to share their perspectives and suggestions, stands as a crucial step toward forging a path forward in the transitional justice process in Nepal.

In conclusion, the recommendations presented here are grounded in the belief that careful, inclusive and comprehensive approaches are essential for effective progression of transitional justice in Nepal. By prioritizing national unity, dispelling misleading narratives and actively engaging victims in the process, all stakeholders should work collectively toward a society that values accountability, reconciliation and lasting peace. The journey ahead is challenging, but with concerted efforts from political parties, experts and the broader community, the goals of transitional justice can be achieved.

The author is executive director at Nepal Center for Security Governance