Amnesty and Transitional Justice in Brazil After 20 Years of Constitutional Rule of Law: Why Now?
A Lecture by Marcelo Torelly
Wednesday, December 4th, 4:00pm
Weinmann Hall 110
Reception to follow
In 2011 Brazil established a National Truth Commission (NTC), attracting broad international attention for its transitional justice process and raising at least two important questions. Why did it take almost three decades after the end of the military regime to implement this important step? Will the NTC be a step forward in the struggle to overturn 1979 amnesty law, or will it instead function as a trade-off in which is truth becomes a substitute for justice? Two key ideas help answer these questions. The first entails the evolving meaning of “amnesty” in Brazil, that is, its legal and political transformations over time. The second involves the way society mobilized political actors and built transitional justice institutions and agencies, moving from an agenda of reparations and memory to another of truth and justice. By addressing these issues, the presentation aims to contextualize Brazil’s transitional justice process and analyze its current challenges and possibilities.