Drafting a Truth Commission Mandate: A Practical Tool


Eduardo González

This publication is intended to facilitate the process of drafting a mandate for a truth commission charged with the nonjudicial investigation of serious human rights violations. It covers the different aspects of a legal mandate that are necessary to enable an effective truth-seeking body, including: the objectives, the definition of the object of inquiry the normative, and policy orientations entrusted to the commission. It provides several examples of how laws and decrees in different countries have tackled the elements of a commission’s mandate, which are meant for illustration only, not as models to follow. The document is designed to be used by government officials, civil society activists, victims’ organizations and other stakeholders in a transitional justice process.

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