Incident Reports

Two-tier court to deal with war-era cases



Victims can appeal at the appellate court for review in case they are not satisfied with the lower court verdict. If both the courts issue the same verdict, the case will come to an end, the draft bill proposes. The Enforced Disappearances Enquiry, Truth and Reconciliation Commission Act has envisaged a special court to settle the cases as recommended by two transitional justice bodies—Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons (CIEDP). The proposed court will be known as Transitional Justice Special Court. The trial court will have three judges with qualification equivalent to that of High Court judges, while the appeal court will have three justices with qualification equivalent to that of Supreme Court justices. “It will be a court of temporary nature, which will operate until conflict-era cases are completely addressed,” said Attorney General Raman Shrestha. As per the law, the transitional justice bodies will recommend the Office of the Attorney General for the prosecution of those found guilty of crimes during the decade-long insurgency after investigation. The attorney general or the designated government attorney will have the discretion to decide as to whether the perpetrator is to be prosecuted or not upon receipt of the correspondence for prosecution from the Ministry of Peace. Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal and AG Shrestha have assured the victims and human rights community at home and abroad that perpetrators of grave crimes would be prosecuted. However, the government has not amended the Act in line with the Supreme Court verdict to meet the international laws and transitional justice principles. “The amendment to the Act will be tabled in Parliament soon,” said Shrestha. “It took us time as we had to consult stakeholders so that the amendment meets all the required aspects pointed out by the SC as well as international standard of principle of transitional justice,” he added. It is learnt that the Ministry of Peace has readied the amendment proposal for forwarding it to the Ministry of Law for final verification. The draft then will be tabled in the Cabinet for approval before it is tabled in Parliament.