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Chapter Summary

The South Africa of the present has a history of violent conflict. After the country embarked on a course of transition towards democracy and a system of equal rights in the late 1980s and early 1990s, pressing questions remained on how to deal with the crimes of the past. The human rights violations of the past were dealt with by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) aimed at establishing a public record of the human rights atrocities. A unique combination of criminal accountability and amnesty proceedings embedded in the TRC was employed. The South African amnesty scheme provided that the normal course of criminal justice must come into play after the conclusion of the TRC's work whether amnesty had been denied or not even applied. This chapter presents an overview of the book and how the other chapters of the book are organized.

Keywords: South African amnesty; truth and reconciliation commission(TRC)



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