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Utopia and the Doubters: Truth, Transition and the Law

Campbell, C.; Turner, C.

Utopia and the Doubters: Truth, Transition and the Law Thumbnail


C. Campbell


Truth commissions have an intuitive appeal in squaring the circle of peace and accountability post-conflict, but some claims for their benefits risk utopianism. Law provides both opportunities and pitfalls for post-conflict justice initiatives, including the operation of truth commissions. Rather than adopting a heavily legalised approach, derived from Public Inquiries, an ‘holistic legal model’, employing social science fact-finding methodologies to explore pattern of violations, and drawing appropriately on legal standards, may provide the best option for a possible Northern Ireland truth commission.


Campbell, C., & Turner, C. (2008). Utopia and the Doubters: Truth, Transition and the Law. Legal Studies, 28(3), 374-395.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Sep 1, 2008
Deposit Date Jan 11, 2013
Publicly Available Date Feb 3, 2016
Journal Legal Studies
Print ISSN 0261-3875
Electronic ISSN 1748-121X
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 28
Issue 3
Pages 374-395


Accepted Journal Article (335 Kb)

Copyright Statement
This is the accepted version of the following article: Campbell, C. and Turner, C. (2008), Utopia and the doubters: truth, transition and the law. Legal Studies, 28(3): 374-395, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.

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