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Political Science 3388E Lecture Notes - Martha Minow, Kofi Annan, Restorative Justice

Political Science
Course Code
Political Science 3388E
James S Quinn

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Transitional Justice
Song: Heal the World
12:26 PM
Takes place in societies that are in transition
oEx: from authoritarian regimes to democracy
oPeople are struggling to rebuild their lives
Part of this is the rebuilding of the justice sector
There has been no formal government for 20 years
Warlords are in charge
There is no formal education system, and infrastructure is
What to do after mass atrocity?
oAfter gross violations of human rights, societies are starting to struggle
with those violations, and ask questions
Who should be held to account?
For what?
Should ever person be punished?
Should it only be the "big fish?"
To purge bureaucracies or not?
How to rehabilitate victims?
Should victims be compensated?
Why does Transitional Justice Matter for Human Rights?
oThey are intrinsically linked with the study of human rights for three
Deals explicitly with gross violations of human rights
Ends cycle of impunity
And for preventing the kind of immunity from prosecution
that we often find in states that just had human rights violations
Justice is deeply related to human rights
3. Mechanisms increasingly sanctioned/authorized by the UN
oReforms are needed in many sectors
Justice - Focus of TJ
Re-establishment of the Rule of Law
Assisting in the rebuilding of the system of courts that are
necessary for a functioning democratic society
Some other reforms are
oMechanisms adopted tend to reflect the kinds of human rights abuses
that were committed
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