In a sweeping review of forty truth commissions, Priscilla Hayner delivers a definitive exploration of the global experience in official truth-seeking after widespread atrocities. When Unspeakable Truths was first published in 2001, it quickly became a classic, helping to define the field of truth commissions and the broader arena of transitional justice. This second edition is fully updated and expanded, covering twenty new commissions formed in the last ten years, analyzing new trends, and offering detailed charts that assess the impact of truth commissions and provide comparative information not previously available.
Placing the increasing number of truth commissions within the broader expansion in transitional justice, Unspeakable Truths surveys key developments and new thinking in reparations, international justice, healing from trauma, and other areas. The book challenges many widely-held assumptions, based on hundreds of interviews and a sweeping review of the literature. This book will help to define how these issues are addressed in the future.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction 2. Confronting Past Crimes: Transitional Justice and the Phenomenon of Truth Commissions 3. Why a Truth Commission? 4. The Five Strongest Truth Commissions 5. Other Illustrative Truth Commissions 6. What is the Truth? 7. The Truth About Women and Men 8. Truth and Justice: A Careful but Critical Relationship 9. Truth Commissions and the International Criminal Court 10. Naming Names of Perpetrators 11. Healing from the Past 12. Truth and Reparations 13. Reconciliation and Reforms 14. Leaving the Past Alone 15. When, How, and Who: Basic Questions of Methodology and Operations 16. Reflections: Looking Forward
Priscilla B. Hayner was a co-founder of the International Center for Transitional Justice and served as program director and director of its Geneva office. She has assisted truth commissions in well over a dozen countries, working with the United Nations, the Ford Foundation and others, and has been featured in Newsweek, the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, and Le Temps. She is currently writing on the subject of justice in peace negotiations.