Amnesty for Jus Cogens Crimes: International Recognition (South Africa Case)
Juris Gentium Law Review, Vol. 1 (2012), pps.41-56
16 Pages Posted: 7 Sep 2017
Date Written: July 5, 2012
The world has compromised justice in many occasions by making amnesty laws to forgive perpetrators of crime. These laws are often passed to resolve conflicts between rebels and government. Albeit, controversy arises when the conflict involves crimes of a jus cogens character. The norm of jus cogens are the highest in the hierarchy of international law, and any laws conflicting them shall be null and void. Among these norms are Genocide, Crimes Against Humanity, War Crimes, and Aggression. The international world have disregarded amnesties given for alleged Jus Cogens criminals, and have chosen to put the perpetrators to trials, i.e. in Sierra Leone, Chile, Uganda, inter alia. Yet in South Africa in 1995,in which amnesties have been given to the globally infamous actors of the apartheid regime, the world’s response was no less than positive. This article will elaborate how this amnesty provision in the National Unity and Reconciliation Act (1995) of South Africa was highly appreciated by the world from the perspective of international law and politics, as they were highly essential to end the long and painful conflict during the apartheid regime and to ensure a peaceful transition in the country.
Keywords: amnesty, jus cogens, jus cogen criminals, war crimes
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