Facing the Past

How do societies at the national and international level try to overcome historical injustices? What remedies did they develop to do justice to victims of large scale atrocities? And even more important: what have we learned from the implementation of these instruments?
Editor(s):
Peter Malcontent
Series:
Series on Transitional Justice
Volume:
21
book | published | 1st edition
July 2016 | viii + 388 pp.

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€80.-

ISBN 9781780684031


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ISBN 9781780685267

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Details

How do societies at the national and international level try to overcome historical injustices? What remedies did they develop to do justice to victims of large scale atrocities? And even more important: what have we learned from the implementation of these so-called instruments of transitional justice in practice?

Lawyers, socials scientists and historians have published shelves full of books and articles on how to confront the past through international criminal tribunals, truth commissions, financial compensation schemes and other instruments of retributive/punitive and restorative justice. A serious problem continues to be that broad interdisciplinary accounts that include both categories of measures are still hardly available. With this volume a group of international experts in the field endeavors to fill this gap, and even more. By alternating historical overviews with critical assessments this volume does not only offer an extensive introduction to the world of transitional justice, but also food for thought concerning the effectiveness of the remedies it offers to face the past successfully.

‘This synthetic volume is a comprehensive introduction to the various facets of the field of historical injustice of which transnational justice is its best known manifestation. This practical and thoughtful publication addresses critical aspects that challenge the goal of redressing the past as these are presented in scholarship, advocacy and policy. The book delves into questions from justice to ethics and to education and would be useful for students as well as policy makers.’
Elazar Barkan, Columbia University

‘This is a superb reference work on Transitional Justice, covering nearly all of the general questions regarding the various mechanisms in its toolbox, and the combinations thereof, and including case studies and pending cases. It provides expert analyses of transitional justice in post-conflict, post-authoritarian, and democratic states, presenting problems and solutions. The subjects broadly range from apologies to corporate complicity, to America’s self-proclaimed exceptionalism when it comes to confronting onerous chapters of its past. In recent years, a number of problematic cases have emerged that will require us to re-think the transitional justice toolbox – this volume offers a solid basis from which to depart’
Nanci Adler, University of Amsterdam

Chapters

Contents (p. 0)

PART I. TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE.WHAT'S IN THE NAME?

Introduction (p. 1)

Do Bystanders Exist? (p. 27)

The Marketisation of Historical Injustice (p. 43)

PART II. RETRIBUTIVE JUSTICE

Introduction (p. 57)

Pacting the Law within Politics. Lessons from the International Criminal Court's First Investigations (p. 91)

National and Hybrid Tribunals. Benefits and Challenges (p. 115)

Beyond the Courtroom. The Objectives and Experiences of International Justice at the Grassroots (p. 139)

From Gacaca to Mato Oput. Pragmatism and Principles in Employing Traditional Dispute Resolution Mechanisms (p. 167)

Dealing with Organisations and Corporations (p. 187)

PART III. RESTORATIVE JUSTICE

Introduction (p. 203)

The Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth? On the Role of Truth Commissions in Facing the Past (p. 225)

Official Apologies (p. 247)

Financial Compensation as a Political Process (p. 265)

Education in the Shadow of History. Education, History Education, and their Place in Historical Justice (p. 285)

Governing through Repair. Historical Injustices and Indigenous Peoples in Canada (p. 303)

PART IV. PENDING CASES

The Unfulfilled Promise of Protection. The Netherlands and Srebrenica (p. 321)

Facing the Armenian Genocide. A History of Denial and Politics (p. 339)

The United States and Torture. The Politics of Transitional Justice (p. 361)

Author Information (p. 387)

About the series:

Series on Transitional Justice

Countries emerging from long periods of authoritarian rule must often confront a legacy of gross human rights abuses perpetrated over many years. During the past two decades, these age-old issues have been termed “problems of transitional justice”, both by academics and policy makers around the world. Given the frequency with which these problems arise, as well as the complexity of the issues involved, it is striking that no book series has taken the issue of transitional justice as its point of focus.

The Series on Transitional Justice offers a platform for high-quality research within the rapidly growing field of transitional justice. This research is, of necessity, inter-disciplinary in nature, drawing from disciplines such as law, political science, history, sociology, criminology, anthropology and psychology, as well as from various specialised fields of study such as human rights, victimology and peace studies. It is furthermore international in outlook, drawing on the knowledge and experience of academics and other specialists in many different regions of the world.

The series is aimed at a variety of audiences who are either working or interested in fields such as crime and justice; human rights; humanitarian law and human security; conflict resolution and peace building. These audiences may include academics, researchers, students, policy makers, practitioners, non-governmental organisations and the media.

Editorial board:
- Prof. S. Parmentier (University of Leuven, Belgium)
- Prof. Elmar Weitekamp (University of Tübingen, Germany)
- Prof. Jeremy Sarkin (University of South Africa) and
- Mina Rauschenbach (Université de Lausanne and University of Leuven) (Associate editor)

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