Transitional Justice in Post-Conflict Societies: What Works Best?

Ophelia Speight and Aly Lyons

Over the past twenty years, the notion of "transitional justice" has become one of the cornerstones of reconstruction frameworks and planning. Today, transitional justice mechanisms employ both traditional and western elements, as well as national and international participation. Debates ensue over whether, when and how to introduce such mechanisms and whether international ones, such as the International Criminal Court and International Court of Justice, offer adequate capacity and authority for ensuring justice in the most egregious cases.

The half-day, federally-sponsored conference, presented by the Project on Leadership and Building State Capacity, was broken into two sessions and one keynote addresses. The first session examined questions pertaining to the underlying concepts and frameworks of transitional justice, while the second presented a comparative case study analysis identifying the various ways in which transitional justice mechanisms can take shape. The case studies highlighted were El Salvador, Sierra Leone, Timor Leste, and Liberia.


Transitional Justice Mechanisms.pdf2.13 MB

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