Notes from the Field

New Report Examines Impunity and Political Accountability in Nepal

March 12, 2014

Public disenchantment with Nepal’s political parties has been on the rise since the end of the decade-long conflict in 2006. Discussions about impunity have increased correspondingly, mirroring the growing frustration with the political process. A newspaper uncovers an instance of high-level corruption, and there is widespread outrage. The court issues an arrest warrant for a conflict-era murder, and the parties aggressively and effectively shield their cadre from police action. In response, civil society groups instigate furious campaigns calling for the individual to be punished. People are deeply angered as each such case comes to public attention through media reports. Impunity becomes a matter of public discussion when particularly egregious legal violations by influential politicians are uncovered.

To better understand how impunity manifests through politics in affecting daily life in Nepal, The Asia Foundation published a new report, the fourth of a series of reports published by the Foundation since 1999 that document impunity in Nepal.

The report, which broadly encompasses the period following the regime change of 2006, up to the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly (CA) in 2012, examines the following issues:

  • The complex relationship between politics and law;
  • Manner in which politicians and bureaucrats transgress or manipulate laws and norms to establish control over state institutions;
  • Operations of the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority;
  • Political protection and cultivation of criminal activity;
  • Increase in politician-criminal ties after 2006; and
  • A transitional justice process that will include prosecution as a means of combating impunity.

Accompanying case studies and analyses provide a critical and constructive perspective on the status of impunity in post-conflict Nepal. Download full report.


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