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East Timor: new panel to seek input from civil society on truth commission

East Timor: new panel to seek input from civil society on truth commission

The National Council of East Timor today set up a 15-member panel that will help to gather input from civil society as part of an ongoing effort to establish a "truth commission" on human rights violations committed during the territory's 25-year struggle for independence.

According to the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET), the setting up of the new Special Committee follows yesterday's endorsement by the Council of a draft regulation on the establishment of a Commission on Reception, Truth and Reconciliation. The panel will study the regulation and conduct public hearings to consult with those members of civil society and political parties who have not already given direct input into it. UNTAET said. The Committee will present its report to the National Council on 28 May.

In other news, the East Timor Transitional Cabinet today endorsed amendments to three regulations governing East Timor's judicial system, designed to improve the cohesiveness and efficiency of the judiciary and make better use of international judicial expertise to accelerate capacity-building efforts.

The amendments, which will now be referred to the National Council for consideration, are also intended to give the Court of Appeal supervisory powers over the district courts and to give the Transitional Judicial Services Commission broader disciplinary leverage.