Incident Reports

Conflict victims’ associations to recommend names for transitional justice bodies



The conflict victims’ organisations are making preparations to recommend the names of office-bearers for the two transitional justice bodies, with a belief that the government will amend the existing transitional justice act before the new leaderships have assumed the two offices.
The Conflict Victims Common Platform and the Conflict Victims National Network are working to select the probable candidates, which could include representatives from the victim’s community, before forwarding the names to the recommendation committee led by former chief justice Om Prakash Mishra.
While the application submission deadline for individual aspirants ends on Friday, institutions or organisations have until the end of this month to submit their nominations.
The leaders of the two conflict victims’ organisations said they were submitting their nominees
following the request of the political parties who have assured them that the concerns of conflict victims would be kept at the centre while taking the transitional justice process forward.
Bhagi Ram Chaudhary, chairperson of the platform, said they will recommend the names of over a dozen people for the post of chairmen and members in both bodies-- the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Commission of the Investigation of Enforced Disappeared Persons.
“The list is very likely to include the names of the victims’ representatives who have a good understanding of the transitional justice process,” Chaudhary told the Post. “We are still working on the names.”
He said their list also includes human rights defenders, lawyers and those who have long been standing for the victims. The platform believes that the recommendation committee will ensure that at least a few names from its list will be incorporated when the new office-bearers of the two commissions are appointed.
The two commissions are vacant after their four-year terms expired on April 13.
Gopal Shah, vice-chairperson of the conflict victims’ network, said the government should start the amendment process of the transitional justice act with resumption of new session of the federal Parliament, which commences on April 29.
Unlike the platform, the network will not be nominating victims’ representatives for the leadership positions in the two commissions .
 “People from victims’ community will not be recommended for the leaderships. However, they can help in formulating policies for reparation and reconciliation among others when needed,” Shah told the Post.
The leaders from both organisations are of the view that, unlike in the past, the leaderships for both
commissions need to be selected on merit basis,not in terms of  political sharing. To this end, they have urged the National Human Rights Commission, which also has representation in the recommendation committee, to ensure that only competent individuals are selected this time around.
Raja Ram Dahal of the Ministry of Law and Justice, who has been working at the secretariat of the
recommendation committee, said 47 people including six for the position of chairpersons of the two commissions,have submitted their applications so far.