Laws to facilitate transitional justice ‘far off’

- DEWAN RAI, Kathmandu

Sep 18, 2016-

Despite repeated reminders and instructions from the parliamentary committee and the transitional justice bodies, the government has not been able to bring the laws to facilitate the ongoing process of delivering justice to conflict victims. 

The Supreme Court had ordered the government to streamline the Enforced Disappearances Enquiry, Truth and Reconciliation Commission Act, 2014 (TRC Act) two years ago. The mandates of the transitional justice bodies--Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons--formed under the Act are expiring in five months’ time. However, the government has been dilly-dallying in amending the Act and bringing other necessary laws for smooth functioning of the transitional justice bodies. 

“We have last minute discussion with the stakeholders and some parties to finalise the amendment bill. It should not take long,” said Attorney General Raman Shrestha, adding that the amendment proposal would be built on the draft prepared by his predecessor Hari Phuyal. 

“The amendment to the Act will be in line with the Court verdicts, human rights law, international laws and transitional justice principles and norms,” Shrestha echoed Phuyal’s statement.

The Social Justice and Human Rights Committee of Parliament has instructed the government at least six times to streamline the laws and provide logistics to both the commissions. The understaffed commissions are also facing budget deficit to conduct further investigation into the complaints. 

The TRC has received over 55,000 complaints and the CIEDP has received close to 3,000. The commissions have completed the first round of screening, but further investigations are likely to get delayed due to lack of budget and logistics. The commission have yet to record testimonies, conduct public hearings, exhumation, forensic tests and prepare a report. 

Published: 18-09-2016 07:48

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