Avoiding amnesty in the age of accountability : a comparative analysis of Colombia’s proposal for alternative sentencing and South Africa’s conditional amnesty

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Savini, Lucia Eleonora Maria
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One of the more conspicuous symptoms of the anti-impunity movement in transitional justice is a growing objection towards the use of amnesty. While international standards are slowly but surely building a legal barricade to prevent amnesty and impunity, states are searching for alternative measures capable of persuading hostile actors to demobilise. One promising solution to this is Colombia’s proposal for prosecutions accompanied by alternative sentencing in the Marco Juridico de la Paz, which aims to demobilize the guerillas and end a 50-year conflict. But for this proposal to be a genuine alternative to amnesty rather than a political attempt to avoid international legal obligations, it must satisfy victims’ requirements for truth, justice and reparations. This paper, therefore, compares the proposal for alternative sentencing in Colombia with the South African conditional amnesty to determine whether alternative sentencing is an acceptable alternative in our ‘age of accountability’.
Second semester University: University of Deusto, Bilbao.
amnesty, Colombia, South Africa, reparations, transitional justice, truth commission