Transitional Justice in Colombia. The Special Jurisdiction for Peace

Transitional Justice in Colombia. The Special Jurisdiction for Peace
K. Ambos / S. Peters (Ed.)

Baden-Baden: Nomos, 2022

Article: Diego Tarapués, The Special Jurisdiction for Peace and Sui Generis Transitional Justice


"The Colombian Jurisdicción Especial para la Paz (JEP, Special Jurisdiction for Peace) is the judicial center piece of the national Transitional Justice system (Sistema Integral de Verdad, Justicia, Reparación y No Repetición, SIVJRNR; Integral System of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Non-Repetition). At the same time the JEP is also at the center of public controversies about the Colombian peace process and faces a series of legal and political challenges in its daily work. In this sense, the JEP generates a continuous need for consultation, discussion and research. The articles in this volume aim to contribute to a better understanding of the JEP and to identify further research needs. At the same time, we hope to contribute to the still limited research on the Colombian peace process and the JEP in English language.

The volume starts with Gabriel Ignacio Gómez, who analyzes the political conflicts regarding the JEP from a socio-legal perspective. He examines the different interests and perspectives on the JEP from relevant political actors in Colombia and illustrates how these conflicts have been fought out in both the political and legal sphere, as well as what impact they have had on the work of the JEP.

In the next section, Kai Ambos and Susann Aboueldahab address the central claim of the JEP’s critics, i.e., that it is an expression of impunity. They reject this claim taking a closer look at impunity in Colombia in general (pre-JEP) and analyzing the JEP’s mandate, its essential features and key challenges. In doing so, the authors draw the bigger picture in which the JEP operates and emphasize the need for its critical monitoring. They argue that the JEP will only live up to legitimate expectations if it effectively enforces the sanctions imposed, the provisional benefits granted and, in particular, the conditional treatment of those appearing before the JEP.

Diego Tarapués examines the institutional genesis of the JEP. He highlights the need to analyze the JEP as an outcome of the peace negotiations as well as an integral part of the SIVJRNR. The author argues that, based on the standards of international law, the JEP correctly aims to address the most representative crimes committed during the Colombian internal armed conflict. Given the unique characteristics of the JEP – both at the institutional and jurisdictional level – he claims that it can be considered a sui generis transitional justice body.