Transitional justice

Transitional Justice

Transitional justice

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Transitional justice generally refers to a range of approaches that states may use to address past human rights violations and includes both judicial and non-judicial approaches. They include series of actions or policies and their resulting institutions, which may be enacted at a point of political transition from violence and repression to societal stability. Transitional justice is informed by a society’s desire to rebuild social trust, repair a fractured justice system, and build a democratic system of governance. The core value of transitional justice is the notion of justice: not necessarily criminal justice, but other forms of justice as well. This notion and the political transformation, such as regime change or transition from conflict, are thus linked toward a more peaceful, certain and democratic future.

The term ‘transitional justice’ has recently received greater attention by both academics and policymakers. It has also generated interest in the fields of political and legal discourse, especially in transitional societies. In period of political transitions, from authoritarian, dictatorial regimes or from civil conflicts to a democracy, transitional justice has often provided opportunities for such societies to address past human rights abuses, mass atrocities, or other forms of severe trauma in order to facilitate a smooth transition into a more democratic or peaceful future. This article discusses the concept of transitional justice: the definition, its...
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