Oct 9, 2015
12:30pm - 2:00pm    |    Wilf 5th Floor Conference Room, 139 MacDougal Street, New York, NY

Valid ID and RSVP required. RSVP here or email Audrey.Watne@nyu.edu. Lunch will be provided.

Both advocacy and scholarly debates are focusing on the need to include a focus on economic injustice and corruption in transitional justice mechanisms. In part, the debate has been caused by a slim record of truth commission involvement on corruption investigations. To date, few commissions (those in Chad, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Kenya) have explicitly conducted research on corruption. Currently, only the Tunisian Instance ‘Vérité et Dignité’ has a mandate to investigate corruption cases and facilitate an arbitration mechanism to solve ongoing investigations.

However, it would be misleading to say that Transitional Justice has completely omitted a focus on corruption; other instruments, particularly special inquiries, have taken place to recover assets and initiate criminal processes against perpetrators of kleptocratic, dictatorial regimes. The Philippines, after Marcos, and Peru after Fujimori, are salient examples. There have been more recent attempts at establishing exclusively corruption-focused truth commissions in Bangladesh and the Philippines to deal with legacies of large-scale corruption. Political challenges and technical problems led to incomplete outcomes in both cases. The topic is of critical relevance today however, as corruption investigations in Tunisia risk to stall due to political pressure to apply a mechanism of ‘amnesty for truth’ to corrupt business leaders and officials.

The speakers will share experiences and insights on the interface between transitional justice and anti-corruption initiatives during this talk.

About the Speakers:

Ruben Carranza is the Director of the Reparative Justice Program of ICTJ. He obtained his B.A. and LL.B. degrees from the University of the Philippines and an LL.M. from New York University (NYU) in 2005 as a Global Public Service Law Program scholar. From 1998–2000, he was an assistant secretary of national defense in the Philippines, and from 2001–2004, he was the commissioner in charge of litigation and investigation in the Philippine commission that successfully recovered $680 Million in ill-gotten assets of the family of Ferdinand Marcos. He concurrently served in the UN Ad Hoc Committee that drafted the 2003 UN Convention Against Corruption. He was involved in litigation against the Marcos family and worked with civil society on proposed reparations measures for victims of the Marcos dictatorship. Carranza currently works with victims’ communities and reparations policymakers in Nepal, Timor-Leste, Indonesia, the Philippines, Iraq, Palestine, Liberia, Ghana, South Africa, and Kenya. He also provides advice on issues involving reparations and war crimes tribunals including the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) and the International Criminal Court (ICC). 

Eduardo González is the Director of the Truth and Memory Program at ICTJ. He is a Peruvian sociologist, with an M.A. degree from the New School for Social Research (New York) and from the Catholic University of Peru (Lima). He has provided technical and strategic support to truth-seeking initiatives in places as diverse as East Timor, Morocco, Liberia, Canada, and the Western Balkans. Before joining ICTJ, González helped organize and carry out the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2001-2003, where he worked as the director of public hearings and victim protection, and later as an editor of the commission’s final report. Previously, he worked as an advocate for the establishment of the International Criminal Court leading a campaign for ratification of the Rome Statute among Global South NGOs, between 1998 and 2000. In addition to book chapters and articles on human rights and truth commissions, he has taught at New York University, the New School and City University of New York. He leads the annual Barcelona Intensive Course on Truth Commissions, and he is the author of a Spanish-language blog on politics and culture: La Torre de Marfil.

This event is co-sponsored by the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice and the Bernstein Institute for Human Rights.

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