The unfinished business of the Solomon Islands TRC: closing the implementation gap
In 2012, the Solomon Islands truth and reconciliation commission (TRC) submitted its Final Report to the Solomon Islands Government. The Report detailed the underlying and proximate causes of the conflict, provided a record of the injustices perpetrated during its course, and presented a set of recommendations designed both to address the underlying sources of tension in Solomon Islands society and to guard against future hostilities. In the time that has since elapsed, however, successive Solomon Islands Governments have failed to uphold their obligations to publish the report and implement its recommendations. This article examines the reasons for this implementation gap and considers its ingoing ramifications for transitional justice and reconciliation in the Solomon Islands. It argues that the implementation gap can be attributed to a fundamental lack of political will, provoked by the TRC's decision to ‘name names,’ combined with the extremely limited economic capacity of the state. What is more, it also demonstrates that the failure to implement key recommendations has meant that the underlying causes of the conflict remain without adequate redress and that the legitimacy of the TRC and the Solomon Islands’ broader reconciliation process has been brought into serious question.