Case Study: Civil Society Dialogue with Parliamentarians, Workshops on the Truth and Reconciliation Law

Search for Common Ground

Created 07/17/2003

Case Studies, Evaluation


To facilitate educated discussions on the issues concerned in creating Truth and Reconciliation Commissions, Harvard Law School and Search for Common Ground developed a CD-ROM offering guidance from the experience of five countries that had established such commissions. The CD-ROM was developed independent of the Burundian situation; it is non-prescriptive, and offers choices to be matched with the circumstances of each country seeking to establish a commission. Using this tool, Search and the International Human Rights Law Group convened three workshops in 2002. The first, in June, included various members of civil society and parliamentarians, as well as a representative of the Technical Judicial Committee charged with drafting the proposed law establishing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. This group met for a day to hear presentations using the CD-ROM, and to discuss the lessons the other countries’ experiences offered for Burundi’s proposed law. In July 2002, the Council of Ministers submitted to the parliament for consideration a proposed TRC law, based on the draft submitted to the Council by the Technical Judicial Committee. In August, Search and the Law Group convened representatives of civil society to review the law, and to develop together, in smaller groups, recommendations for how the law should be changed.

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