Queen's University Belfast

Universities launch database on amnesties granted during conflict and peace processes

31-Aug-2020 2:05 PM EDT, by Queen's University Belfast

Newswise — Queen’s University Belfast and the University of Edinburgh have launched the first public, open access database which explores amnesties that were granted during ongoing conflicts, or as part of peace negotiations, or in post-conflict periods. 

Amnesties are measures that seek to remove criminal liability for wrongdoing. They are often used during armed conflicts or as part of negotiated peace settlements to reduce the violence and contribute to sustainable peace. 

The work brings together the research of lead-academic, Professor Louise Mallinder from the School of Law at Queen’s University Belfast and the technologies of the University of Edinburgh’s Political Settlement Research Programme, to create a new online tool for conflict parties and peacebuilders.  The project is funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. 

The database contains qualitative data on 289 amnesties introduced by states in all world regions from 1990-2016. It provides descriptions of key themes relating to the scope and legal effects of different forms of amnesty, together with information on when and how they are implemented to remove criminal liability for conflict-related offences. 

The key themes include:

  • The context in which the amnesty was introduced (e.g. regime type, or timing in the transition from conflict to peace)
  • The process of introducing the amnesty, and where appropriate, amending or annulling the amnesty
  • The categories of persons who benefited from the amnesty or were excluded from its terms
  • The crimes that are included or excluded from the amnesty
  • The conditions that amnestied persons must comply with to obtain or retain amnesty
  • The effects of the amnesty on criminal justice, civil remedies and administrative accountability processes
  • How the amnesty was implemented, including whether victims had a voice in the process of deciding whether individual amnesty applicants should be granted amnesty.

A summary of the key findings are available in the ‘Amnesties and Inclusive Political Settlements’ report. 

Professor Mallinder said: “The use of amnesties is often highly controversial, particularly where amnesties are granted to war criminals or those responsible for serious human rights violations. This is a live issue in many parts of the world today, with amnesties under consideration in the United Kingdom, Ukraine, Thailand, and in Afghanistan, where a peace agreement was reached between the US and the Taliban in February 2020 and direct negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban are due to begin.

“The political negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban demonstrate how amnesty can be a prerequisite for opening peace negotiations or reaching an agreement. Furthermore, debates in recent weeks among Afghan actors and representatives of other states over the release of Taliban detainees from prison reveal how actors may both recognise that amnesty is necessary for peace while also seek to limit the impunity that it creates. 

“These debates indicate that the legitimacy of amnesty may rest on multiple factors including how amnestied persons are monitored after they receive amnesty; the forms of post-amnesty conditions that can be imposed for them to retain amnesty; and whether the peace process seeks to fulfill victims’ rights. These issues are often omitted from approaches to amnesty that consider only whether the amnesty extends to international crimes and serious human rights violations.”

Professor Christine Bell, professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Edinburgh commented: “The question of amnesty is often one of the big stumbling blocks to a peace agreement.  By making amnesty processes fully searchable, and providing strong analysis on how to craft amnesties through Professor Mallinder’s report, we hope that actors in conflict will be better able to find creative solutions for moving the peace process forward, that avoid impunity.” 

Sanja Badanjak, Chancellor’s Fellow in Global Challenges from the School of Law at the University of Edinburgh said: “Professor Mallinder’s database is a tremendously valuable resource for research on conflict and peace processes. It allows researchers to compare the manner in which amnesties are implemented, as well as providing an insight into the workings of amnesty processes for those who may be considering the use of amnesty in negotiations on ending conflict. The ease of access to these data and the detail that Professor Mallinder provides on each process will surely encourage and support a wave of new research on the relevance and effect of amnesties in the context of armed conflict.” 

The Amnesties, Conflict and Peace Agreement Dataset is available here: https://www.peaceagreements.org/amnesties

ENDS…

Notes to editor: 

  • Professor Louise Mallinder, from the School of Law at Queen’s University Belfast and lead researcher on the project is available for interview. Bids to Zara McBrearty at Queen’s Communications Office. 
  • Professor Christine Bell, professor of Constitutional Law, and Sanja Badanjak, Chancellor’s Fellow in Global Challenges from the School of Law, at the University of Edinburgh are available for interview. Bids to Joanne Morrison at the University of Edinburgh Press and PR Office. 
  • The Political Settlements Research Programme is based at the University of Edinburgh Law School, www.politicalsettlements.org.uk
  • The Political Settlement Research Programme is funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, (and formerly the Department for International Development), UK. 
  • The press release is strictly embargoed until 00.01 (BST) Wednesday 2 September 2020. 

SEE ORIGINAL STUDY

Filters close

Showing results

110 of 5645
Released: 22-Oct-2020 11:55 AM EDT
A video posted by a European-based group called World Doctors Alliance falsely claims the novel coronavirus is “a normal flu virus”
Newswise

A video posted by a European-based group called World Doctors Alliance claims the novel coronavirus is “a normal flu virus” and there is no COVID-19 pandemic. Although the video was removed from Youtube, portions of the video are circulating on Facebook. We rate this claim as false. Scientists universally agree that the cuase of this pandemic is a novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, and not a strain of influenza. COVID-19 is deadlier than the seasonal flu. COVID-19 so far has killed more people in the U.S. than the past five flu seasons combined.

Newswise: Time is Not on Their Side: Physicians Face Barriers to Voting
Released: 22-Oct-2020 11:00 AM EDT
Time is Not on Their Side: Physicians Face Barriers to Voting
UT Southwestern Medical Center

DALLAS – Oct. 22, 2020 – Two new UT Southwestern studies published today report some surprising findings: Only half of practicing physicians are registered to vote, and the most common obstacle faced by resident physicians is the lack of time to vote. The researchers say finding ways to increase voter participation among doctors is critical as the nation tackles health care issues.

Released: 22-Oct-2020 10:15 AM EDT
Pres. Trump claim that "phony ballots" were printed without his name on it is not entirely true
Newswise

We rate this claim as mostly false. There was one instance in Los Angeles where a small percentage of mail ballots omitted the presidential race entirely. That meant that it wasn’t only Trump’s name that was missing, but also Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

Released: 22-Oct-2020 8:55 AM EDT
Embody, Inc. Announces FDA 510(k) Clearance of TAPESTRY® Biointegrative Implant for Tendon and Ligament Repair
Embody, Inc.

Embody, Inc., a privately-held medical device company developing novel collagen-based technologies for sports medicine and soft tissue repair, announced today it has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its TAPESTRY Biointegrative Implant for tendon and ligament repair.

Newswise: Ning-Zhang.jpg?w=325&h=250&auto=format&q=65&fit=facearea&facepad=3
Released: 22-Oct-2020 8:30 AM EDT
Cyber-security, mind-hacking and the presidential election
Washington University in St. Louis

Ning Zhang, assistant professor of engineering The U.S. presidential election is only weeks away. Hackers are hard at work. What exactly are they doing?We often think of hacking as a shadow form of computer engineering – a matter of ones and zeros, of clever coding and hijacked hardware, of software vulnerabilities and brute force attacks.


Showing results

110 of 5645

close
2.15662