Commissioning the Past in Northern Ireland

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At the end of conflict societies are often faced with difficult choices about whether and how best to deal with the past. In Northern Ireland a Legacy Commission has been proposed. This article explores in what ways, if any, a truth commission might add value to the existing past-focused mechanisms in Northern Ireland, with a particular emphasis on the Historical Enquiries Team (HET). It further considers the dilemmas and tensions the proposed Legacy Commission has generated and what this tells us about the contested nature of transitional justice claims both in the international context and in one transitional society, Northern Ireland.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-133
JournalReview of International Affairs
Issue number1138-1
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - Jul 2010


  • Truth Commissions
  • Consultative Group on the Past
  • Historical Enquiries Team
  • Northern Ireland.


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