The Indonesia-Timor-Leste Commission of Truth and Friendship: Enhancing Bilateral Relations at the Expense of Justice

The Indonesia-Timor-Leste Commission of Truth and Friendship: Enhancing Bilateral Relations at... Abstract: International justice is characterized by the global articulation of basic human rights and peremptory norms outlawing crimes against humanity. In the twenty-first century, an international obligation of states to pursue individuals who bear responsibility for gross violations of human rights has formalized. Since the 1999 independence referendum, Timor-Leste has struggled to achieve substantive justice for the human rights violations committed during Indonesia’s 25-year de facto administration. Timor-Leste provides a unique case study on the international dimensions of pursuing justice in a post-conflict transitional context, particularly as many alleged perpetrators of rights violations have been shielded by Indonesia. This presents a challenge for Timor-Leste in balancing its various international and domestic priorities: while domestic political order and rule of law necessitates the pursuit of substantive justice, Timor-Leste’s external security interests require a positive relationship with Indonesia. This article examines the world’s first bilateral Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the Indonesia-Timor-Leste Commission of Truth and Friendship. It then analyses the implementation of the Commission’s recommendations by Indonesia and Timor-Leste. The paper argues that the Commission was primarily a political mechanism designed to support international priorities rather than substantive justice. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Contemporary Southeast Asia: A Journal of International and Strategic Affairs Institute of Southeast Asian Studies

The Indonesia-Timor-Leste Commission of Truth and Friendship: Enhancing Bilateral Relations at the Expense of Justice

The Indonesia-Timor-Leste Commission of Truth and Friendship: Enhancing Bilateral Relations at the Expense of Justice


Contemporary Southeast Asia Vol. 36, No. 2 (2014), pp. 232–61 DOI: 10.1355/cs36-2c © 2014 ISEAS ISSN 0129-797X print / ISSN 1793-284X electronic The Indonesia-Timor-Leste Commission of Truth and Friendship: Enhancing Bilateral Relations at the Expense of Justice REBECCA STRATING International justice is characterized by the global articulation of basic human rights and peremptory norms outlawing crimes against humanity. In the twenty-first century, an international obligation of states to pursue individuals who bear responsibility for gross violations of human rights has formalized. Since the 1999 independence referendum, Timor-Leste has struggled to achieve substantive justice for the human rights violations committed during Indonesia’s 25-year de facto administration. TimorLeste provides a unique case study on the international dimensions of pursuing justice in a post-conflict transitional context, particularly as many alleged perpetrators of rights violations have been shielded by Indonesia. This presents a challenge for Timor-Leste in balancing its various international and domestic priorities: while domestic political order and rule of law necessitates the pursuit of substantive justice, Timor-Leste’s external security interests require a positive relationship with Indonesia. This article examines the world’s first bilateral Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the Indonesia-Timor-Leste Commission of Truth and Friendship. It then analyses the implementation of the Commission’s recommendations by Indonesia and Timor-Leste. The paper argues that the Commission was primarily a political mechanism designed to support international priorities rather than substantive justice. Keywords: reconciliation, transitional justice, security, democratization, rule of law. Rebecca Strating is a Lecturer in politics at Federation University Australia, Gippsland Campus, Northways Road, Churchill, Victoria,...
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Publisher
Institute of Southeast Asian Studies
Copyright
Copyright © The Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.
ISSN
1793-284X
Publisher site
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Abstract

Abstract: International justice is characterized by the global articulation of basic human rights and peremptory norms outlawing crimes against humanity. In the twenty-first century, an international obligation of states to pursue individuals who bear responsibility for gross violations of human rights has formalized. Since the 1999 independence referendum, Timor-Leste has struggled to achieve substantive justice for the human rights violations committed during Indonesia’s 25-year de facto administration. Timor-Leste provides a unique case study on the international dimensions of pursuing justice in a post-conflict transitional context, particularly as many alleged perpetrators of rights violations have been shielded by Indonesia. This presents a challenge for Timor-Leste in balancing its various international and domestic priorities: while domestic political order and rule of law necessitates the pursuit of substantive justice, Timor-Leste’s external security interests require a positive relationship with Indonesia. This article examines the world’s first bilateral Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the Indonesia-Timor-Leste Commission of Truth and Friendship. It then analyses the implementation of the Commission’s recommendations by Indonesia and Timor-Leste. The paper argues that the Commission was primarily a political mechanism designed to support international priorities rather than substantive justice.

Journal

Contemporary Southeast Asia: A Journal of International and Strategic AffairsInstitute of Southeast Asian Studies

Published: Sep 25, 2014

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