Dealing with the aftermath of civil conflict or the fall of a repressive government continues to trouble countries throughout the world. Whereas much of the 1990s was occupied with debates concerning the relative merits of criminal prosecutions and truth commissions, by the end of the decade a consensus emerged that this either/or approach was inappropriate and unnecessary. A second generation of transitional justice experiences have stressed both truth and justice and recognize that a single method may inadequately serve societies rebuilding after conflict or dictatorship. Based on studies in ten countries, this book analyzes how some combine multiple institutions, others experiment with community-level initiatives that draw on traditional law and culture, whilst others combine internal actions with transnational or international ones. The authors argue that transitional justice efforts must also consider the challenges to legitimacy and local ownership emerging after external military intervention or occupation.
In a sweeping review of forty truth commissions, Priscilla Hayner delivers a definitive exploration of the global experience in official truth-seeking after widespread atrocities. When Unspeakable Truths was first published in 2001, it quickly became a classic, helping to define the field of truth commissions and the broader arena of transitional justice. This second edition is fully updated and expanded, covering twenty new commissions formed in the last ten years, analyzing new trends, and offering detailed charts that assess the impact of truth commissions and provide comparative information not previously available. Placing the increasing number of truth commissions within the broader expansion in transitional justice, Unspeakable Truths surveys key developments and new thinking in reparations, international justice, healing from trauma, and other areas. The book challenges many widely-held assumptions, based on hundreds of interviews and a sweeping review of the literature. This book will help to define how these issues are addressed in the future.
This book investigates why some societies defer transitional justice issues after successful democratic consolidation. Despite democratisation, the exhumation of mass graves containing the victims from the violence in Cyprus (1963-1974) and the Spanish civil war (1936-1939) was delayed until the early 2000s, when both countries suddenly decided to revisit the past. Although this contradicts the actions of other countries such as South Africa, Bosnia, and Guatemala where truth recovery for disappeared/missing persons was a central element of the transition to peace and democracy, Cyprus and Spain are not alone: this is an increasing trend among countries trying to come to terms with past violence. Truth Recovery and Transitional Justice considers the case studies of Spain and Cyprus and explores three interrelated issues. First, the book examines which factors can explain prolonged silence on the issue of missing persons in transitional settings. It then goes on to explore the transformation of victims’ groups from opponents of truth recovery to vocal pro-reconciliation pressure groups, and examines the circumstances in which it is better to tie victims’ rights to an overall political settlement. Finally, the author goes on to compare Spain and Cyprus with Greece- a country that remains resistant to post-transitional justice norms. This book will be of interest to students of transitional justice, human rights, peace and conflict studies and security studies in general.
This book presents the first cross-regional analysis of post-transitional justice periods and the conditions that influence states’ behaviors. Specifically, the book examines why states that adopt and ostensibly implement transitional justice norms as policies—criminal prosecutions, reparations policies, and truth commissions—fail to follow through with their recommendations. Applying these perspectives to a comparative study of states from Latin America and East Asia—namely, Peru, Uruguay, and South Korea—which accepted and implemented transitional justice norms but took different trajectories of behavior after the implementation of policies, this book contributes to understanding the relationship of norm influence on states and why states change in compliance after norm adoption. The book explores the conditions that contribute or limit the continued respect for transitional justice norms, emphasizing the political interests and transnational advocacy networks’ roles in affecting states’ policies of addressing past abuses.
Since the 1980s, an array of legal and non-legal practices—labeled Transitional Justice—has been developed to support post-repressive, post-authoritarian, and post-conflict societies in dealing with their traumatic past. In Understanding the Age of Transitional Justice, the contributors analyze the processes, products, and efficacy of a number of transitional justice mechanisms and look at how genocide, mass political violence, and historical injustices are being institutionally addressed. They invite readers to speculate on what (else) the transcripts produced by these institutions tell us about the past and the present, calling attention to the influence of implicit history conveyed in the narratives that have gained an audience through international criminal tribunals, trials, and truth commissions. Nanci Adler has gathered leading specialists to scrutinize the responses to and effects of violent pasts that provide new perspectives for understanding and applying transitional justice mechanisms in an effort to stop the recycling of old repressions into new ones.
This book addresses the theoretical underpinnings of the field of transitional justice, something that has hitherto been lacking both in study and practice. With the common goal of clarifying some of the theoretical profiles of transitional justice strategies, the study is organized along crucial intersections evaluating aspects connected to the genealogy, the nature, the scope and the most appropriate methodology for the study of transitional justice. The chapters also take up normative and political considerations pertaining to specific transitional instruments such as war crime tribunals, truth commissions, administrative purges, reparations, and historical commissions. Bringing together some of the most original writings from established experts as well as from promising young scholars in the field, the collection will be an essential resource for researchers, academics and policy-makers in Law, Philosophy, Politics, and Sociology.
An Introduction to Transitional Justice provides the first comprehensive overview of transitional justice judicial and non-judicial measures implemented by societies to redress legacies of massive human rights abuse. Written by some of the leading experts in the field it takes a broad, interdisciplinary approach to the subject, addressing the dominant transitional justice mechanisms as well as key themes and challenges faced by scholars and practitioners. Using a wide historic and geographic range of case studies to illustrate key concepts and debates, and featuring discussion questions and suggestions for further reading, this is an essential introduction to the subject for students.
Transitional Justice Theories is the first volume to approach the politically sensitive subject of post-conflict or post-authoritarian justice from a theoretical perspective. It combines contributions from distinguished scholars and practitioners as well as from emerging academics from different disciplines and provides an overview of conceptual approaches to the field. The volume seeks to refine our understanding of transitional justice by exploring often unarticulated assumptions that guide discourse and practice. To this end, it offers a wide selection of approaches from various theoretical traditions ranging from normative theory to critical theory. In their individual chapters, the authors explore the concept of transitional justice itself and its foundations, such as reconciliation, memory, and truth, as well as intersections, such as reparations, peace building, and norm compliance. This book will be of particular interest for scholars and students of law, peace and conflict studies, and human rights studies. Even though highly theoretical, the chapters provide an easy read for a wide audience including readers not familiar with theoretical investigations.
Remaking Transitional Justice in the United States: The Rhetoric of the Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation Commission explores rhetorical attempts to authorize the Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation Commission—a grassroots, U.S.-based truth commission created in 2004 toredress past injustices in the city. Through detailed rhetorical analyses, the book demonstratesthat the development of the field of transitional justice has given rise to a transnational rhetorical tradition that provides those working in the field with series of “enabling constraints.” The book then shows how Greensboro stakeholders attempted to reaccentuate this rhetorical tradition in their rhetorical performances to construct authority and bring about justice, even as the tradition shaped their discourse in ways that limited the scope of their responses. Calling attention to the rhetorical interdependence among practitioners of transitional justice, this study offers insights into the development of transitional justice in the United States and in grassroots contexts in other liberal democracies. The volume is a relevant guide to scholars and practitioners of transitional justice as it brings into relief mechanisms of transitional justice that are frequently overlooked—namely, rhetorical mechanisms. It also speaks to any readers who may be interested in the communicative strategies/tactics that may be employed by grassroots transitional justice initiatives.
Searching for Truth in the Transitional Justice Movement examines calls for a truth commission to redress the brutal war during the breakup of the former Yugoslavia, the decades-long armed conflict in Colombia, and US detention policies in the War on Terror. In so doing, it argues that transitional justice is an idea around which a loosely structured movement emerged and professionalized, making truth commissions a standard response to mass violence. By exploring how this movement developed, as well as efforts to make truth commissions in the Balkans, Colombia, and the US, this book explains different processes through which political actors translate new legal ideas such as transitional justice into political action. Further, it reveals how the malleability of transitional justice and truth commissions is both an asset and a liability for those hoping to ensure accountability, improve survivor well-being, and prevent future violence.
The Arab uprisings and new and old conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa have sparked an interest in transitional justice in Muslim-majority legal systems, and its potential to uncover the truth about past abuse and ensure accountability for widespread human rights violations. This raises the pressing question of how to implement and adapt the international paradigm of transitional justice, and in particular its truth-seeking aims, to local settings characterised by Muslim majority populations. This book offers a critical analysis of the relocation of transitional justice from the international paradigm to the legal systems of Muslim-majority societies in light of the inherently pluralistic realities of these contexts; it also investigates synergies between international law and Islamic law in furthering the transitional aims of accountability, justice and reconciliation through truth-seeking. In particular, this project explores truth-seeking, the formation of collective memories and the victims' right to know the truth, as key aims of the international paradigm of transitional justice, in relation to Islamic jurisprudence and practices. This monograph will provide a useful reference for scholars, practitioners and policymakers seeking to analyse and design transitional truth-seeking processes in the legal systems of Muslim-majority societies.
This book addresses the effectiveness of transitional justice mechanisms for repairing social cohesion. Truth commissions and reparation programs are implemented worldwide to enhance social cohesion, peace and democracy in post-conflict settings. Most claims about transitional justice measures are, however, normatively and not empirically based.The book questions whether attention from a truth and reconciliation commission can truly change the lives of the violence-affected people and whether monetary compensations or communal projects in form of milk cows can ever truly repair the harm suffered. The within-country comparative case study analyzes the effects of the commission and reparation program in Peru. It studies the post-conflict situation and the development of social cohesion in communities affected by the internal armed conflict. Using detailed empirical data this analysis reveals why the reparation of social cohesion in Peru was an impossible task. Contributing to a broader understanding of the impact of nationally applied transitional justice instruments in local settings, the book further offers a new framework for analyzing social cohesion as one of the aims of transitional justice processes. Offering a detailed account of transitional justice processes and social cohesion on the micro level, as well as an important analysis of their relationship, this innovative monograph will be invaluable for transitional justice scholars and students, as well as for international political and societal actors who are involved in transitional justice measures.
The catastrophic fate of European Jewry during the years of National Socialism in Germany and the subsequent calamity of the holocaust for both Jews and other minorities under the Third Reich have continued to press on contemporary thinkers and historians the difficult task of coming to terms with its features. While the Holocaust or Shoah remains representative of a form of state crime, its overwhelming singularity is today tested by many cases of state impunity, systemic violence, repression, war crimes, and gross human rights violations--especially in the Balkans and Rwanda. In the wake of the debates around such violations, new and formidable categories of jurisprudence are emerging in which such notions as transitional justice, global justice, and universal jurisdiction are working to reshape the nature of judicial sovereignty on the one hand and accountability on the other in the post-cold war period. Experiments with Truth engages with the vicissitudes of the emerging debates around "Truth and Reconciliation," new forms of global justice, testimonies and memories of communities. In this volume a wide range of intellectuals, artists, filmmakers, and historians respond to the challenge of transitional justice in often difficult but illuminating ways.
This book develops a theoretical understanding of how truth commissions achieve legitimacy and contribute to peace and stability. Angela D. Nichols argues that truth commissions are most likely to impact society when they possess certain institutional characteristics—characteristics that send important political signals to the state and broader society alike. If these signals suggest greater degrees of authority, a break with the past, and transparency in both its investigations and its findings, the truth commission is more likely to impact society. In particular, Nichols examines whether or not states that adopt truth commissions with these characteristics are more likely to respect human rights and experience lower levels of violence. She concludes with an analysis of Colombia’s newly established Truth, Coexistence, and Non-Recurrence Commission.
Among the most prominent and significant political and legal developments since the end of the Cold War is the proliferation of mechanisms for addressing the complex challenges of transition from authoritarian rule to human rights-based democratic constitutionalism, particularly with regards to the demands for accountability in relation to conflicts and abuses of the past. Whether one thinks of the Middle East, South Africa, the Balkans, Latin America, or Cambodia, an extraordinary amount of knowledge has been gained and processes instituted through transitional justice. No longer a byproduct or afterthought, transitional justice is unquestionably the driver of political change. In Globalizing Transitional Justice, Ruti G. Teitel provides a collection of her own essays that embody her evolving reflections on the practice and discourse of transitional justice since her book Transitional Justice published back in 2000. In this new book, Teitel focuses on the ways in which transitional justice concepts have found legal expression, especially through human rights law and jurisprudence, and international criminal law. These essays shed light on some of the difficult choices encountered in the design of transitional justice: criminal trials vs. amnesties, or truth commissions; domestic or international processes; peace and reconciliation vs. accountability and punishment. Transitional justice is considered not only in relation to political events and legal developments, but also in relation to the broader social and cultural tendencies of our times.
Transitional justice is usually associated with international criminal courts and tribunals, but criminal justice is merely one way of dealing with the legacy of conflict and atrocity. Justice is not only a matter of law. It is a process of making sense of the past and accepting the possibility of a shared future together, although perpetrators, victims and bystanders may have very different memories and perceptions, experiences and expectations. This book goes further than providing a legal analysis of the effectiveness of transitional justice and presents a wider perspective. It is a critical appraisal of the different dimensions of the process of transitional justice that affects the imagery and constructions of past experiences and perceptions of conflict. Examining hidden histories of atrocities, public trials and memorialization, processes and rituals, artistic expressions and contradictory perceptions of past conflicts, the book constructs what transitional justice and the imagery involved can mean for a better understanding of the processes of justice, truth and reconciliation. In transcending the legal, although by no means denying the significance of law, the book also represents a multidisciplinary, holistic approach to justice and includes contributions from criminal and international lawyers, cultural anthropologists, criminologists, political scientists and historians.