Past eventResearch Event

Amnesties in the Age of Human Rights Accountability

31 October 2013 - 5:30pm to 7:00pm

Chatham House, London


Professor Leigh Payne, Professor of Sociology, St Antony’s College, Oxford
Dr Francesca Lessa, Post-Doctoral Research Officer, Latin American Centre, Oxford University
Gabriel Pereira, Researcher, Department of Politics and International Relations, Oxford University



Amnesty laws, which retrospectively exempt leaders from criminal liability,  continue to stoke debate. Some claim that, in the aftermath of war, they can help to facilitate peace and enable a society to look forward rather than back; others view them as political devices that have no place in a global society fully committed to the pursuit of international justice.

This event marks the culmination of an eight-year research project on amnesty laws adopted since the 1970s in post conflict countries. Professor Leigh Payne and her colleagues will present the findings of their research and discuss the idea of a 'selective' amnesty law, a concept that they have developed which seeks to overcome the impasse that continues to characterize the debate on amnesties.