Panel Discussion: Transitional Justice in Colombia - New Challenges

A light sandwich lunch will be served from 1pm.

Abstract: The panellists will discuss contemporary developments in the Colombian transitional justice process and focus on pressing challenges related to three main topics: the Colombian Truth Commission; the transitional justice tribunal created by the peace accord; and political issues surrounding the implementation of the latter.

The Colombian Truth Commission (CTC), created by the 2016 peace deal, is an innovative mechanism of transitional justice. The CTC aims to become the first pedagogical and feminist truth commission. Therefore, it has created a transversal gender group and pedagogical directorship. Moreover, the mandate establishes that the CTC must work with a territorial focus. To include the diaspora, the CTC created an International Office in Bilbao, under the tutelage of Commissioner Carlos Berinstain. The discussion will focus on the developments on these three fronts since implementation of the peace deal started in December 2016.

The panel will then discuss the basic structure, tasks and logic the Jurisdicción Especial para la Paz (JEP), which is the transitional justice tribunal created by the peace accord, as well as the current legal, managerial and political challenges it faces.

Finally, the speakers will engage with the achievements and failures of Duque’s government regarding the implementation of the peace accord, as well as sketch potential political scenarios in the Congress/next local elections concerning the future of this process.


Juanita Leon

Juanita Leon is currently an Academic Visitor at St Antony’s college. She is the founder and director of La Silla Vacia, the main political news site in Colombia and has covered the 2 last peace processes with FARC. She wrote Country of Bullets, a comprehensive book about the recent armed conflict in Colombia.

Andrei Gomez-Suarez

Andrei Gomez-Suarez is Associate Researcher in Memory and Reconciliation in Colombia at the University of Bristol, Honorary Senior Research Associate at the UCL Institute of the Americas, Senior Consultant at Positive Negatives, and co-founder of Embrace Dialogue (Rodeemos el Diálogo, ReD). He is the author of Genocide, Geopolitics and Transnational Networks (Routledge, 2015) and El Triunfo del No (Icono, 2016).

Miguel La Rota

Miguel La Rota is currently pursuing an Msc in criminology at the Centre for Criminology. He is the former Director for Policy and Strategy in the Colombian Prosecution Office (Fiscalia General de la Nación). Before this, he was a researcher at the Center for Law, Justice and Society (Dejustica) in Bogotá, where he wrote three books and various policy papers about access to justice and Criminal Justice in Colombia.

Annelen Micus

Annelen Micus is the Head of Programmes of the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights. Previously, Annelen worked for two years with a Colombian human rights organisation, the Lawyers’ Collective “José Alvear Restrepo” (CAJAR), as international advisor on transitional justice as well as business and human rights issues. Before going to Colombia, she was a Legal Advisor at the Berlin-based European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), focusing on strategic litigation projects aiming for accountability for international crimes committed in Latin America by state and non-state actors. Annelen studied law at the Bucerius Law School in Hamburg and the Universidad Torcuato di Tella in Buenos Aires.