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Local Norms and Truth Telling: Examining Experienced Incompatibilities within Truth Commissions of Solomon Islands and Timor-LesteLocal Norms and Truth Telling: Examining Experienced Incompatibilities within Truth Commissions of Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste

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Title: Local Norms and Truth Telling: Examining Experienced Incompatibilities within Truth Commissions of Solomon Islands and Timor-LesteLocal Norms and Truth Telling: Examining Experienced Incompatibilities within Truth Commissions of Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste
Authors: Guthrey, Holly L
Keywords: Solomon Islands
Timor-Leste
truth commissions
transitional justice
local norms
show 1 morevictims
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LC Subject Headings: Oceania -- Periodicals
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: University of Hawai‘i Press
Center for Pacific Islands Studies
Citation: Guthrey, H. L. 2016. Local Norms and Truth Telling: Examining Experienced Incompatibilities within Truth Commissions of Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste. The Contemporary Pacific 28 (1): 1-29.Guthrey, H. L. 2016. Local Norms and Truth Telling: Examining Experienced Incompatibilities within Truth Commissions of Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste. The Contemporary Pacific 28 (1): 1-29.
Abstract: In recent decades, transitional justice processes have increasingly placed a focus on victims of mass violence, which has been particularly noticeable in truth commissions. Although truth commissions have become more “victim-centered” over time, there is little empirical research that examines what this actually portends for victims in practice, particularly in terms of how these institutions interact with local norms and sociocultural values. To begin addressing this gap, this article highlights several findings from nineteen semi-structured interviews conducted in Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste, which suggest that the truth-commission processes in each country may have missed the mark in terms of respecting the sociocultural values as well as local norms and expectations of those who participated in their national public hearings. Based on the data obtained from this study, it appears that ignoring sociocultural values and local norms may cause negative consequences for victims, including hindering their ability to move beyond their past trauma as well as inciting distress, worry, and confusion. The findings presented in this article draw attention to potentially problematic issues that arise within truth commissions when local norms and values are ignored; the hope is that this will help substantiate the need for developing culturally sensitive and locally relevant transitional justice processes, thus contributing to both theory and practice in the field of transitional justice.
Pages/Duration: 29 pages
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/43711
ISSN: 1043-898X
Appears in Collections:TCP [The Contemporary Pacific], 2016 - Volume 28, Number 1



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