The United Nations defines transitional justice as “the full range of processes and mechanisms associated with a society’s attempt to come to terms with a legacy of large-scale past abuses, in order to ensure accountability, serve justice and achieve reconciliation.”
This essay series examines the progress and challenges in pursuing justice in post-revolutionary Arab states, and the experience of past and ongoing transitional justice processes in Asia-Pacific countries.
MIDDLE EAST-ASIA PROJECT (MAP) ESSAYS ON TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE:
Oct 24, 2014
Despite Elections, Transitional Justice Still Elusive in Tunisia
The leaders of Tunisia’s two main political actors – the secular Nidaa Tounes Party and the Islamist Ennahda Party – are prioritizing economic development and security issues in their platforms. While these matters are of great importance to building a stable and democratic Tunisia, it is remarkable that discussions about human rights and transitional justice have been almost entirely absent in the campaigns of these and other parties and candidates.
Feb 24, 2014
Yemen’s Contentious Transitional Justice and Fragile Peace
Yemen was not immune to the wave of popular uprisings that swept some countries of the Middle East and North Africa region. However, because of the Yemeni state’s fragility, concurrent zones of conflict, and a power struggle that divided the core military and tribal elites, the international community was afraid that the youth uprising that started in January 2011 might lead to a collapse of the state. Given the consequences of such a collapse on the security of the Gulf states, oil production, and the international war on terror, the Gulf Cooperation Council brokered a deal in November 2011—the Gulf initiative—which laid the foundation for a transitional government. The main aim of the initiative was to secure a peace deal that halted Yemen’s slide into chaos. Peace was sought through the brokering of an inclusive National Dialogue Conference (NDC), but peace did not entail changing the regime or its pattern of politics. While transitional justice has been a part of this process of peaceful reconciliation, it raises questions about the sustainability of this peace and provides a showcase of the precarious state of Yemeni affairs.
De-Ba`thification in Iraq: How Not to Pursue Transitional Justice
Beth K. Dougherty
The de-Ba`thification process in Iraq has fallen profoundly short as a transitional justice mechanism over the past decade. Poorly conceived, badly implemented, and controlled by hard-liners, the process has been so highly politicized that it has eroded the rule of law and intensified the sectarian tensions that are at the heart of the violence haunting Iraq.
Jan 27, 2014
"Going Grassroots:" Transitional Justice in Egypt
Since the inception of its transitional justice and accountability program in November 2012, the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) has faced a number of challenges related to its work. Of these, one of the most arduous has been operating in a context of ongoing political and social upheaval. The period since November 2012 can generally be divided into three distinct phases, each marking a change in EIPR’s organizational and conceptual approaches to transitional justice. Though EIPR sees its work in Egypt less in phases and more as a long and complicated struggle against injustice and impunity that will likely continue for the foreseeable future, the three phases are helpful for documenting its approach to transitional justice since 2012.
Jan 03, 2014
The Challenges of Transitional Justice in Cambodia
An internationalized transitional justice process has been underway in Cambodia for some years and appears to be nearing a conclusion. This retributive justice process—formally known as the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) and informally called the Khmer Rouge Tribunal (KRT)—was designed to achieve accountability for gross human rights violations between 1975 and 1979, when Cambodia was ruled by a political movement known as the Khmer Rouge. The ECCC has generated useful lessons for other countries that may be considering a similar exercise. This essay will review a few of those lessons, including (1) political obstacles to ensuring accountability for human rights violations; (2) challenges and limitations of the tribunal model; (3) costs and benefits of amnesties; (4) potential alternative justice mechanisms such as truth commissions, reparations, and apologies; and (5) the consequences of justice too soon and justice delayed.
Dec 26, 2013
Transitional Justice and the Politics of Lustration in Tunisia
Christopher K. Lamont
No transitional justice dilemma is more contested in Tunisia than that of lustration and vetting. While trials of former ruling elites, either in absentia or in the courtroom, grab international headlines, the question of how to deal with the tens of thousands of former Ben Ali regime functionaries who were complicit in past abuses yet are not likely to be brought to trial has proven even more politically charged. To be sure, the question over the fate of these potential targets of lustration and vetting continues to contribute to Tunisia’s prolonged post-revolutionary political crisis, as draft laws on lustration and ad hoc leaks from state archives solidify cleavages among Tunisia’s diverse array of transitional political actors.
Dec 20, 2013
Truth Commissions in South Korea: Lessons Learned
Hun Joon Kim
South Korea has launched various transitional justice measures since democratic transition in 1987, with truth commissions being employed most frequently. With at least ten truth commissions established to date, South Korea has been a leader in such initiatives in the Asia Pacific region. This paper analyzes two of South Korea’s most prominent truth commissions―the Jeju Commission and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC)―in an effort to answer why some truth commissions succeed while others do not.
Dec 04, 2013
Toward Victim-centered Transitional Justice: Nepal and Timor-Leste
The first decade of the twenty-first century has been characterized by the emergence of a new politics of human rights that has become the defining agenda of much national and international politics. This universalist discourse of rights has gained unprecedented leverage in global debate, propelled by narratives that rarely pause to question the evidence or ideology that underlies it. This is nowhere more true than in the practice of human rights after conflict or political violence, in which transitional justice has become a dominant approach to addressing legacies of violations, backed by an industry of practitioners and donors.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE:
The Government and Social Development Resource Center’s (GSDRC) contains discussions and a wealth of information on the following topics:
TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE CENTERS AND WEB-BASED RESOURCES:
* (Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation)
GENERAL WORKS ON TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE:
Books and Reports
Bass, Gary Jonathan. 2002. Stay the Hand of Vengeance: The Politics of War Crimes Tribunals. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Czarnota, Adam, Martin Krygier and Wojciech Sadurski (Eds.) 2005. Rethinking the Rule of Law after Communism. Budapest, NY, Central European: University Press.
De Brito, Alexandra Barahona, Carmen Gonzaléz Enríquez, and Paloma Aquilar (Eds.) 2001. The Politics of Memory: Transitional Justice in Democratizing Societies. New York: Oxford University Press.
Elster, Jon. 2004. Closing the Books: Transitional Justice in Historical Perspective. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Elster, Jon. 2004. “Moral Dilemmas of Transitional Justice”, in Practical Conflicts: New Philosophical Essays, ed. by Peter Baumann & Monika Betzler. Pp. 279-294.
Govier, Trudy. 2002. Forgiveness and Revenge. London: Routledge.
Griswold, Charles L. 2007. Forgiveness: A Philosophical Exploration. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Hayner, Priscilla. 2002. Unspeakable Truths: Facing the Challenges of Truth Commissions. London: Routledge.
Herz, John H. (Ed.) 1982. From Dictatorship to Democracy: Coping with the Legacies of Authoritarianism and Totalitarianism. Westport, CT: Greenwood.
Ignatieff, Michael. 1997. The Warrior's Honor: Ethnic War and the Modern Conscience. New York: Owl Books.
Kritz, Neil (Ed.) 1995. Transitional Justice: How Emerging Democracies Reckon with Former Regimes. 3 vols. Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace Press.
Kritz, Neil. 2002. “Where We Are and How We Got Here: An Overview of Developments in the Search for Justice and Reconciliation” in The Legacy of Abuse ed. by Alice H. Henkin. New York: the Aspen Institute.
May, Larry. 2007. War Crimes and Just War. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Meredith, Martin. 1999. Coming to Terms: South Africa's Search for Truth. New York: Public Affairs.
Minow, Martha. 1998. Between Vengeance and Forgiveness: Facing History after Genocide and Mass Violence. Boston: Beacon Press.
Murphy, Jeffrie G. 2003. Getting Even: Forgiveness and its Limits. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Nino, Carlos Santiago. 1996. “Punishment as a Response to Human Rights Violation: A Global Perspective”, in Radical Evil on Trial. New Haven: Yale University Press. Pp. 3-41.
Philpott, Daniel. 2006. The Politics of Past Evil: Religion, Reconciliation, and the Dilemmas of Transitional Justice. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press.
Ratner, Steven R. and Jason S. Abrams. 1997. Accountability for Human Rights Atrocities in International Law: Beyond the Nuremberg Legacy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Rothberg, Robert I. and Dennis Thompson (Eds.) 2000. Truth v. Justice: The Morality of Truth Commissions. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Teitel, Ruti. 2001. Transitional Justice. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Roht-Arriaza, Naomi, and Javier Mariezcurrena (Eds.) 2006. Transitional Justice in the Twenty-First Century: Beyond Truth versus Justice. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Akhavan, Payam, “Are International Criminal Tribunals a Disincentive to Peace?: Reconciling Judicial Romanticism with Political Realism”, , 31:3 (2009), 624-654.
Arthur, Paige, ‘How “Transitions” Reshaped Human Rights: A Conceptual History of Transitional Justice’, , 31:2 (2009), 321-367.
Bell, Christine, “Transitional Justice, Interdisciplinarity and the State of the ‘Field’ or ‘Non-Field’”, International Journal of Transitional Justice, 3:1 (2009), 5-27.
Fletcher, Laurel E., Harvey M. Weinstein and Jamie Rowen, “Context, Timing, and the Dynamics of Transitional Justice: A Historical Perspective”, , 31:1 (2009), 163-220.
Eisikovits, Nir, , Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2009).
Glasius, Marlies, “What is Global Justice and who decides? Civil Society and Victim Responses to the International Criminal Court’s First Investigations”, , 31:2 (2009), 496-520.
Gready, Paul, “Reconceptualising Transitional Justice: Embedded and Distanced Justice”, Conflict, Security and Development, 5:1 (2005), 3-21.
Kritz, Neil, “Accountability for International Crimes and Serious Violations of Human Rights: Coming to Terms with Atrocities: A Review of Accountability Mechanisms for Mass Violations of Human Rights”, Law and Contemporary Problems, 59:4 (1996), 127-152.
Leebaw, Bronwyn Anne, “The Irreconcilable Goals of Transitional Justice”, , 30:1 (2008), 95-118.
McEvoy, Kieran, “Letting Go of Legalism: Developing a ‘Thicker’ Version of Transitional Justice”, Journal of Law and Society, 34:4 (2007), 411-440.
Mendez, Juan, “Accountability for Past Abuses”, , 19:2 (1997), 255-282.
Orentlicher, Diane F., “Settling Accounts Revisited: Reconciling Global Norms and Local Agency”, International Journal of Transitional Justice, 1:1 (2007), 10-22.
Orentlicher, Diane F., “Settling Accounts: The Duty to Prosecute Human Rights Violations of a Prior Regime”, Yale Law Journal, 100:8 (1991), 2537-2615.
Peskin, Victor, “Beyond Victor's Justice? The Challenge of Prosecuting the Winners at the International Criminal Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda”, Journal of Human Rights, 4:2 (2005), 213-231.
Robins, Simon and Ram Kumar Bhandari. 2012. “”, NEFAD: Kathmandu.
Teitel, Ruti, “Transitional Jurisprudence: The Role of Law in Political Transformation”, Yale Law Review, 106:7 (1997), 2009-2080.
Teitel, Ruti, “Transitional Justice Genealogy”, Harvard Human Rights Journal, 16 (2003), 69-94.
Teitel, Ruti, “Transitional Justice Globalized”, International Journal of Transitional Justice, 2:1 (2008), 1-4.
Villalba, Clara Sandoval, “,” Institute For Democracy And Conflict Resolution (IDCR) (July 2011).
BACKGROUND MATERIAL ON COUNTRIES FEATURED IN THIS SERIES:
ARAB WORLD (General):
Abou-El-Fadl, Reem, “Beyond Conventional Transitional Justice: Egypt’s 2011 Revolution and the Absence of Political Will”, The International Journal of Transitional Justice, 6:2 (2012), 318-330.
Barsalou, Judy, “”, Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Center (June 2012).
Hanna, Michael Wahid, “”, The Cairo Review of Global Affairs, 3 (2011), 67-83.
Kassem, Taha, “Transitional Justice in Post-Revolution Egypt: A Reality or an Illusion?” International Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 2:5 (2013), 47-56.
Morsy, Ahmed, “Transitional Justice: Egypt’s Way Forward”, Middle East Institute (July 2013).
Petkova, Mariya, “”, Aljazeera Center for Studies (December 2012).
Tawab, Ziad Abdel, “”, CIHRS (2013).
- [Iraq’s Official Transitional Justice Court]
- [Justice Sector Support for Iraq]
Afrin, Zakia, “”, Annual Survey of International and Comparative Law, 14:1 (2010), 23-40.
Bassiouni, M. Cherif, “”, Cornell International Law Journal 101 (2005).
Bell, Christine, Colm Campbell, Fionnuala Ni Aolain, “The Battle for Transitional Justice: Hegemony, Iraq and International Law”. In John Morison, Kieran McEvoy, and Gordon Anthony (eds) Judges, Transition, and Human Rights (Oxford University Press, 2007), 147-165.
Hollywood, Dana Michael, “The Search for Post-Conflict Justice in Iraq: A Comparative Study of Transitional Justice Mechanisms and Their Applicability to Post-Saddam Iraq” Brooklyn Journal of International Law, 59 (2007), 116-121.
ICTJ and Human Rights Center, University of California at Berkeley, (May 2004).
Law, Leonard J., “”, US Army Staff College, Ft. Leavenworth (2004).
Sarkin, Jeremy and Heather Sensibaugh, “ ”, PRAXIS: The Fletcher Journal of Human Security, 23 (2008), 5-32.
Sissons, Miranda, and Abdulrazzaq Al-Saiedi, “”, International Center for Transitional Justice (March 2013).
Sissons, Miranda, “”, ICTJ Briefing Paper (January 22, 2008).
Stover, Eric, Hanny Megally, and Hania Mufti, “”, Human Rights Quarterly, 27:3 (2005), 830-853.
Stover, Eric, Miranda Sissons, Phuong Pham and Patrick Vinck, “”, International Review of the Red Cross, 90:869 (March 2008), 5-28.
Tarin, Danielle, “Prosecuting Saddam and Bungling Transitional Justice in Iraq”, Virginia Journal of International Law (Winter 2005), 467.
Hanafi, Leila, “” The North Africa Journal (May 15, 2012).
Hayner, Priscilla, “”, European Council on Foreign Relations (November 2013).
International Crisis Group, , Middle East/North Africa Report, No. 140 (April 17, 2013).
International Legal Assistance Consortium, , (May 2013).
Kersten, Mark, “’”, Justice in Conflict (December 28, 2012).
Triponel, Anna and Paul R. Williams. “”, American University International Law Review, 28:3 (2013), 776-834.
Tupaz, Edsel, “”, JURIST – Sidebar (August 31, 2011).
Tupaz, Edsel and Daniel Wagner, “”, JURIST - Sidebar (November 10, 2011).
Dworkin, Anthony, “”, European Council on Foreign Relations (November 2013).
PILPG, “ (February 2013).
Seils, Paul, “”, ICTJ (September 2013).
Gray, Doris H. and Terry Coonan, “”, The International Journal of Transitional Justice, 7 (2013), 348-357.
Gray, Doris, “”, e-International Relations (April 2013).
Lamont, Christopher and Hela Boujneh, “”, Politička misao, 49:5 (2012), 32-49.
Mersch, Sara, “”, Sada Journal (June 2013).
Patel, Ian, “”, Oxford Transitional Justice Research (OTJR) seminar (2012).
Preysing, Domenica, “ ”, draft paper for the BRISMES Annual Conference (March 2012).
Al-Zwaini. Laila, “”, HiiL’s Rule of Law Quick Scan Series (September 2012).
The Peace and Justice Initiative, (March 21, 2012).
Sharqieh, Ibrahim, “”, European Council on Foreign Relations (November 2013).
Sharqieh, Ibrahim, “”, Brookings Institution (February 2013).
Ablin, David A. and Marlowe Hood (Eds.) 1990. The Cambodian Agony. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.
Abrams, J., “The Atrocities in Cambodia and Kosovo: Observations on the Codification of Genocide”. New England Law Review, 35:2(Winter 2001), 303.
Beauvais, Joel C., “Cambodia, East Timor and Sierra Leone: Experiments in International Justice”, Criminal Law Forum, 12 (2001), 185.
Bit, Seanglim. 1991. The Warrior Heritage: A Psychological Perspective of Cambodian Trauma. Le Cerrito, CA: Seanglim Bit.
Boyden, Jo and Gibbs, Sara. 1997. Children of War: Responses to Psycho-Social Distress in Cambodia. Geneva: UNRISD.
Boyle David. “One Read more Step - Adoption of the Khmer Rouge Trial Law”. Judicial Diplomacy, Revue Internet (August 5, 2001).
Bunyanunda, Mann. “The Khmer Rouge on Trial: Wither the Defense?” Southern California Law Review (2000-2001), 1581.
Center for Social Development. 2001. The Khmer Rouge and National Reconciliation: Opinions from the Cambodians. Phnom Penh: Center for Social Development.
Chandler, David P., “Will There Be a Trial for the Khmer Rouge?” Annual Journal of the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs 14 (2000).
Chea, Vannath. “”. In Reconciliation after Violent Conflict: A Handbook. Stockholm: International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance.
Chigas, George, “The Trial of Khmer Rouge: The Role of the Tuol Sleng and Santebal Archives”, Harvard Asia Quarterly (2001).
Chigas, George, “The Politics of Defining Justice after the Cambodian Genocide”, Journal of Genocide Research 2 (2000).
Ciorciari, John D. (Ed.) 2006. The Khmer Rouge Tribunal. Documentation Series No. 10. Phnom Penh, Documentation Center of Cambodia.
Cook, Susan E. (Ed.) 2006. Genocide in Cambodia and Rwanda: New Perspectives. Piscataway, NJ: Transaction Publishers.
Cortright, David and George A. Lopez, “Cambodia: Isolating the Khmer Rouge”. In The Sanctions Decade: Assessing UN Strategies in the 1990s, ed. David Cortright and George A. Lopez. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2000.
DeNike, Howard J., John Quigley and Kenneth J. Robinson (Eds.) 2000. Genocide in Cambodia: Documents from the Trial of Pol Pot and Ieng Sary. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Donovan, Daniel Kemper, “Joint U.N.-Cambodia efforts to establish a Khmer Rouge Tribunal”. Harvard International Law Journal , 44:2 (2003), 551.
Ea, Meng-Try, and Sorya Sim. 2001. Victims and Perpetrators? Testimony of Young Khmer Rouge Comrades. Phnom Penh: Documentation Center of Cambodia.
Etcheson, Craig, “Accountability Beckons During a Year of Worries for the Khmer Rouge Leadership”. ILSA Journal of International & Comparative Law 6 (2000), 507.
Etcheson, Craig. 2005. After the Killing Fields: Lessons from the Cambodian Genocide. Westport, CT: Praeger.
Etcheson, Craig, “Beyond the Khmer Rouge Tribunal”, Phom Penh Post, 12:22 (October 24-November 6, 2003).
Etcheson, Craig, “”, paper prepared for the “Settling Accounts? Truth, Justice, and Redress in Post-conflict Societies” Conference, Harvard University. November 1-3, 2004.
Etcheson, Craig, “From Theory to Facts in the Cambodian Genocide”. International Network on Holocaust and Genocide, 12:1-2 (1997), 4-7.
Etcheson, Craig. 2000. The Number - Quantifying Crimes Against Humanity in Cambodia. Phnom Penh: Documentation Center of Cambodia.
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Etcheson, Craig. 1984. The Rise and Demise of Democratic Kampuchea. Boulder: Westview Press.
Gottesman, Evan R. 2003. Cambodia after the Khmer Rouge: Inside the Politics of Nation Building. New Haven: Yale University Press.
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Metzl, Jamie Fredreric, “The U.N. Commission on Human Rights and Cambodia, 1975-1980”, Buffalo Journal of International Law 3(Summer 1996), 67.
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ICTJ and KontraS. .
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McGregor, Katharine E., “Confronting the Past in Contemporary Indonesia: The Anticommunist Killings of 1965–66 and the Role of the Nahdlatul Ulama”, Critical Asian Studies, 41:2 (2009), 195–224.
Mietzner, Marcus. 2006. The Politics of Military Reform in Post-Suharto Indonesia: Elite Conflict, Nationalism, and Institutional Resistance. Washington, DC: East-West Center.
Mietzner, Marcus. 2009. Military Politics, Islam, and the State in Indonesia: From Turbulent Transition to Democratic Consolidation . Singapore: ISEAS.
Miller, Michelle Ann. 2009. Rebellion and Reform in Indonesia: Jakarta’s Security and Autonomy Policies in Aceh. London and New York: Routledge.
Mizuno, Kumiko. 2003. “Indonesian Politics and the Issue of Justice in East Timor.” In Governance in Indonesia: Challenges Facing the Megawati Presidency, edited by Hadi Soesastro, Anthony L. Smith, and Mui Ling Han, 114–64. Singapore: ISEAS.
Mufti Makaarim A., Fitri Bintang Timur, and Wendy A. Prajuli (Eds.) 2009. Human Rights and the Indonesian Security Sector:2009 Almanac. Jakarta: IDSPS.
Mugiyanto. “Accountability in Solving Cases of Enforced Disappearance”. In Human Rights and the Indonesian Security Sector: 2009 Almanac, edited by Mufti Makaarim A., Fitri Bintang Timur, and Wendy A. Prajuli, 161–82. Jakarta: IDSPS.
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Streifeneder, Eva. 2007. “The Long Road to Restorative Justice: On the 1965–66 Victims’ Struggle for Reparations in Post-Suharto Indonesia.” In Indonesia - The Presence of the Past: A festschrift in Honour of Ingrid Wessel, edited by Eva Streifeneder and Antje Missbach, 51–64. Berlin: Regiospectra.
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- (August 2009)
- (May 2008)
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