Amnesties and Inclusive Political Settlements


Author: Louise Mallinder

This report explores when and how amnesties are used during conflict and transitions towards peace. In particular, it examines how the context in which amnesties are adopted can shape decisions on whether to limit the material or personal scope of amnesties or to attach conditions to the grant of amnesty; or on their range of legal effects. The report argues that these aspects of amnesty design can have significant implications for the extent to which amnesty can contribute to inclusive political settlements or conversely to excluding some individuals or groups from the post-conflict political contract. The report draws on the new Amnesties, Conflict, and Peace Agreement (ACPA) dataset to conduct a large-scale comparative analysis of trends in state practice on conflict and peace-related amnesties. The findings of this report contribute significantly to the fledgling literature on the role of amnesties in resolving armed conflicts by documenting and analysing the specific forms and functions of amnesties enacted during conflict and peace and exploring how they are tied to the negotiation and implementation of peace processes.