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Proposed amendments to Nepal’s Transitional Justice Act marks some progress, but will not provide justice to victims

Sahina Shrestha August 12, 2022


Eighteen years after the end of Nepal’s Maoist conflict, and eight years after the Supreme Court ruled that a law on transitional justice was inadequate, the coalition government last month finally registered a bill to amend it.

But human rights experts say the draft fulfilled neither the aspirations of victims, nor international law. The proposed amendment to the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances, Truth and Reconciliation Commission Act 2014 still provides amnesty to perpetrators.

“Starting the amendment process after so long, and consultations held in the seven provinces were positive steps that gave victims and their families a ray of hope,” says Raju Prasad Chapagai, a constitutional and human rights lawyer. “But the draft bill fails to address their demands for truth and justice.”

In its 2015 ruling, the Supreme Court ordered a revision of the Act to ensure that heinous crimes like rape, extrajudicial killings, torture and enforced disappearances could not be pardoned. Since then, successive governments have challenged that ruling and stalled the transitional justice process.

The draft bill does include the right to reparation and interim relief for victims, and gives the two commissions truth-seeking mandates. But activists say it makes an absurd distinction between murder and brutal murder, and stipulates that the verdict of the Special Court cannot be appealed.

Last Updated on: November 4th, 2022 at 8:31 am

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