Discussion Paper on the Legality of Amnesties
21 Feb. 2010
This paper aims to briefly present an analysis of the position of international law and practice vis-à-vis amnesties, with an application to the Afghan National Assembly Resolution regarding Reconciliation and General Amnesty (hereafter Amnesty Resolution). It reviews the extent to which amnesties concerned with the gravest international crimes (or ‘core international crimes’), namely genocide, crimes against humanity (CAH), war crimes, and torture are prohibited under international law. In the first part, it reviews the applicable law, including of the duty to prosecute and the legality
of amnesties under international law. In a second part, the paper draws some general conclusions from international experiences with amnesties and applies these to Afghanistan.