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Beyond Transitional Justice
Volume XXVII • Issue 3 • 2011
Beyond Transitional Justice

During the last decade transitional justice has become the pivotal concept for dealing with violent pasts in many developing countries. It reaches beyond the purely normative dimensions that had previously been covered by the judicial systems of modern Nation States. While transitional justice has a wide range of practical applications on the international level, as well as in many post-conflict nations, at the same time academic research on the topic has grown almost exponentially. However, some crucial issues have been disregarded because, at times, they are considered to be beyond the boundaries of the notion of transitional justice. The authors in this volume seek to shed light on some of these.

 

Schwerpunktredaktion: Stefan Khittel

Print ISSN: 0258-2384│Online ISSN: 2414-3197

 

 

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Inhalt dieser Ausgabe
Khittel, Stefan; Pospisil, Jan

Beyond Transitional Justice?

Sprache: ENGLISHSeiten: 4-20https://doi.org/10.20446/JEP-2414-3197-27-3-4
  • Abstract

Introduction

Rubli, Sandra

Knowing the Truth – What for? The Contested Politics of Transitional Justice in Burundi

Sprache: ENGLISHSeiten: 21-42https://doi.org/10.20446/JEP-2414-3197-27-3-21
  • Abstract

In Burundi mechanisms to deal with the violent past are much contested by political parties. It seems that there is no ‘political will’ for a normative model of transitional justice based on international criminal, humanitarian and human rights law. On the one hand, transitional justice is contested because it touches on fundamental interests of politicians, especially those who have been implicated in past crimes. On the other hand, political parties differently conceptualise basic elements of transitional justice, such as justice, truth and reconciliation. As a political process, transitional justice mechanisms produce certain ‘truths’, ‘facts’ and interpretations about the past and reflect certain norms and values. This paper analyses the different political parties’ stances on transitional justice, stances influenced by rational choice factors and divergent conceptions of justice, truth and reconciliation. Moreover, it shows how they use the normative concept of transitional justice as an instrument for political struggle.

Schmeidl, Susanne

The Quest for Transitional Justice in Afghanistan: Exploring the Untapped Potential of Customary Justice

Sprache: ENGLISHSeiten: 43-63https://doi.org/10.20446/JEP-2414-3197-27-3-43
  • Abstract

Based upon an analysis of the peace process in Afghanistan since 2011, the article argues that past top-down approaches have failed to achieve the twin goals of peace and justice. Thus, customary justice and its associated structures offers an alternative approach to furthering reconciliation and addressing grievances, as well as to ensuring accountability for wrongs committed at the community level. Drawing from the work of The Liaison Office, the article highlights the advantages of customary justice institutions, but also cautions that their limitations (e.g., discrimination against women, an inability to reign in strongmen and address inter-ethnic conflicts) need to be addressed. The article concludes with the recommendation to establish a best practice association that can set standards for customary justice providers and guarantee the inclusion of women.

Seidel, Katja

Practising Justice in Argentina: Social Condemnation, Legal Punishment, and the Local Articulations of Genocide

Sprache: ENGLISHSeiten: 64-87https://doi.org/10.20446/JEP-2414-3197-27-3-64
  • Abstract

The article analyses contemporary practices of transitional justice in the aftermath of Argentina’s last military dictatorship and offers insights into the local articulations of international legal conventions. Focussing on the concept of genocide, the author presents two examples of her ongoing research. The first explores the non-institutional, symbolic jurisdiction entitled Escrache, a collective practice developed by H.I.J.O.S. to ostracize amnestied genocidas (perpetrators of genocide) in their own neighbourhoods. The second example presents the national trials reopened in 2005. Two recent judgements in which perpetrators were convicted for crimes ‘committed in the frame of genocide’ illustrate the innovative application and effective localization of cosmopolitan law. Taken together, the article examines the way in which social agents address the legacy of past violence and contribute to the symbolic inventory of collective memory and juridical practices.

Walschütz, Christian

Transitional Justice in Colombia: Does it Contribute to Reconciliation?

Sprache: ENGLISHSeiten: 88-108https://doi.org/10.20446/JEP-2414-3197-27-3-88
  • Abstract

Colombia offers a valuable contribution to transitional justice research due to its attempt to implement post-conflict-instruments in the middle of an ongoing armed conflict. Ideally, these instruments would be able to become tools for peace and reconciliation. The author introduces the concept of ‘political reconciliation’ in order to test its impact in this regard. The implementation of the concept in the case of Colombia shows that the state has made small steps in the direction of reconciliation, but that its legitimacy is still not established. The demobilization of the paramilitary units turned out to be non-transparent and ineffective, and its legal framework did not address the needs of the victims. However, the current victim’s law offers interesting perspectives with regard to the necessary structural transformations. It still remains to be seen however, whether it will turn out to be more than another good law on paper.

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