Best research output for the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science: Dr Alison Bisset
Tuesday, 02 July 2013
Dr Alison Bisset from the School of Law was recently awarded the Research Endowment Trust Fund Prize for best research output for the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science. She was awarded this for her monograph ‘Truth Commissions and Criminal Courts'.
The book explores the relationship between the two most commonly utilised transitional justice mechanisms, truth commissions and trials, and considers whether and how these institutions can operate effectively together. The research is based on the widely accepted notion that trials and truth commissions have different benefits to bring to transitional states and that the operation of both is desirable if those states are to stand the best chance of restoration and repair.
However, while they may deliver a range of complementary benefits, coordinating their proceedings poses an array of challenges. Their overlapping mandates, and requirements to access the same evidence, information and witnesses in order to fulfill their mandates, coupled with their differing modes of procedure, has the potential to bring them into conflict.
The book analyses the operational tensions that exist between truth commissions and prosecutorial institutions of the same and different states, as well as the difficulties posed by the establishment of the International Criminal Court. The research findings are used to inform the creation of recommendations on how these bodies might best be coordinated to ensure effective co-existence at national, inter-state and international levels.
The formulation of concrete proposals on coordination makes this book a valuable tool for national governments, international organisations and NGOs involved in the creation of new truth commissions, as well as for the International Criminal Court as it develops policies on cooperating with other transitional justice mechanisms.
Every year, the University's Research Endowment Trust Fund awards prizes for the best research outputs and to recognise outstanding research. The prizes are awarded to acknowledge the continuing importance of high quality research to the University. Competitions are run at faculty level, with nominees generated via competitions within schools and departments. This year, each faculty winner received £1,000.
Dr Alison Bisset's research was published as a monograph ‘Truth Commissions and Criminal Courts', by Cambridge University Press in 2012.