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Transitional Justice

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Political Science
Political Science 3388E
James S Quinn

Transitional Justice Song: Heal the World April-08-10 12:26 PM • Takes place in societies that are in transition o Ex: from authoritarian regimes to democracy o People are struggling to rebuild their lives • Part of this is the rebuilding of the justice sector • Somalia  There has been no formal government for 20 years  Warlords are in charge  There is no formal education system, and infrastructure is suffering • What to do after mass atrocity? o After 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? o They are intrinsically linked with the study of human rights for three reasons • 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 o Reforms 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  Economy  Education  Infrastructure  Healthcare o Mechanisms adopted tend to reflect the kinds of human rights abuses that were committed • Also reflect the social & political conditions that come after the abuses • Correspond with ideas of how justice needs to be done • And about WHY justice needs to be done • Corresponds with ideas about why justice must be seen to be done  People need to know that we are doing justice Martha Minow • Different visions of how a society can be rebuilt o There are benefits and faults to each of these approaches • AN ADMISSION IS NEEDED FOR JUSTICE TO BE PUT INTO PLACE o Retributive Justice • Justice = legal prosecutions  Someone commits a crime, is charged, tried, sentenced, and serves time/consequence for that crime • Public acknowledgement of crime • Punishment • Educative effect • Reinforced capability of justice system • National, international trials/tribunals • ICTR (Rwanda Trial), Slobodan Milosevic Trial, ICC (LRA prosecutor) • Universal Jurisdiction (outside of the ICC)  In places where the national system is unwilling/unable to try the people for the crimes, individual states can step in and conduct trials on their behalf  Crime committed is considered to be a crime committed against everyone • Therefore, any state can claim jurisdiction • Would be tried under the law of that state  Different than extradition • Extradition is a series of bilateral agreements between countries  Had barely happened until the 1990s • Is becoming much more prevalent • Ex: Desiree Munieza (Rwandan) who was tried in Montreal • Belgium has also do
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