Transitional Justice in the Twenty-First Century

Beyond Truth versus Justice
  • Citation: Roht-Arriaza, Naomi, and Javier Mariezcurrena. Transitional Justice in the Twenty-First Century Beyond Truth versus Justice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012.
    • Topics:
    • Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding
    • Keywords:
    • Sierra Leone
    • Mexico
    • Peru
    • Afghanistan
    • Argentina
    • transitional justice
    • truth and reconciliation
    • accountability

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.

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