Cornell International Law Journal


Truth, International Law, European Union, Courts, article, Commissions, Victims, Northern Ireland, Europe, Implementation, Powers and duties, Case studies, Truth commissions, Transitional justice


Examines the possibility of applying the truth commission model in Northern Ireland where the past plays a significant role in shaping daily lives & worldviews. A review of the theory & practice of truth commissions is followed by a description of Northern Ireland's long & complex conflicts that point to the need for some form of truth-seeking. Attention is given to the difficulties such a process would face. Three recent truth-seeking initiatives are critiqued: the Northern Ireland Victims' Commissioner; the Bloody Sunday Inquiry; & a series of decisions by the European Court of Human Rights. A framework is presented for the basic shape of a future truth commission in Northern Ireland in light of its particular historical & political situation. Limitations & benefits of the truth commission model are pointed out for both its implementation in Northern Ireland & other post-conflict societies. It is concluded that a truth commission in Northern Ireland offers hope of allowing the past to help build a more peaceful future. Adapted from the source document.

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