Hybrid vs. Domestic: Myths, Realities and Options for Transitional Justice in Sri Lanka

The 2015 political transition in Sri Lanka witnessed several promises for reform. One area in the reform agenda includes the processes and mechanisms for transitional justice.

The resolution titled ‘Promoting Reconciliation, Accountability and Human Rights in Sri Lanka’ adopted at the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2015 provides with it a broad framework for consideration. One area of consideration and debate is on the design of mechanisms including the participation of internationals in domestic mechanisms.

The latest paper by the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) examines this issue through three dimensions: the legal, political and practical and makes the case why it is possible and necessary to have robust international involvement in truth and justice mechanisms. The paper examines the main legal arguments invoking constitutional provisions to oppose the inclusion of foreign judges and lawyers in a judicial process and concludes that there is presently no constitutional bar for such inclusion. It further examines past initiatives, which had some international involvement and highlights the reasons for their failure. It argues that a new framework that goes beyond the past practices must be introduced, with internationals working in partnership with locals to investigate and prosecute international crimes and develop the expertise within Sri Lanka.

Download it here.

Formatted - Jan discussion paper


Centre for Policy Alternatives

The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) was formed in 1996 in the firm belief that there is an urgent need to strengthen institution- and capacity-building for good governance and conflict transformation in Sri Lanka and that non-partisan civil society groups have an important and constructive contribution to make to this process. Focusing primarily on issues of governance and conflict resolution, CPA is committed to programmes of research and advocacy through which public policy is critiqued, alternatives identified and disseminated.