Aswini Weereratne KC and Camila Zapata Besso to report on rule of law and accountability issues in Nepali transitional justice proposals

Aswini Weereratne KC and Camila Zapata Besso, of Doughty Street Chambers’ International Team, have taken part in an independent delegation of lawyers to Nepal. The delegation focussed on access to justice and accountability for current and past human rights violations, particularly in the context of the armed conflict (1996-2006). 

These issues were examined within the context of Nepal’s ongoing and commendable legislative efforts to implement a transitional justice process and institutions. The delegation’s mission coincided with the Federal Democratic Parliament’s consideration of the Transitional Justice Bill, and following the Supreme Court’s order for 30 days in which to recruit and appoint the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The delegation heard about the strong potential of existing legal frameworks in Nepal, but also noted concerns raised regarding implementation and access to justice. 

Pending the delegation’s full report to be published later this year, initial observations highlighted:

  • Nepal has a golden opportunity to be a global example in transitional justice.

  • Wider rule of law issues have the potential to jeopardise the transitional justice process; these must be overcome to ensure its effectiveness.

  • Nepal’s human rights gains are notable, but dedicated technical and financial resources are required to ensure the efficacy of the transitional justice system.

  • Transitional justice holds the key to peace and stability for future generations only if it tackles root causes, has victims at its centre, and meets international human rights standards.

  • Civil society is a crucial partner in strengthening the rule of law and ensuring access to justice.

See here for further information about the delegation. Its work has been reported on by Nepali press.