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Transitional Justice in a nutshell By Dr. Mahmoud Dugdug

08-25-2018, 07:37 PM
محمود ابكر دقدق
<aمحمود ابكر دقدق
Registered: 03-06-2016
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Transitional Justice in a nutshell By Dr. Mahmoud Dugdug

    07:37 PM August, 25 2018

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    Transitional justice consists of both judicial and non-judicial mechanisms; these mechanisms are ranging from criminal prosecutions, truth commissions, and reconciliation, or a combination thereof.
    The institutional reform to material and symbolic reparations for victims and community-based or “traditional” justice processes, have become a staple of post-conflict nation building, with their promise of helping societies eschew past divisions through justice and truth. Whatever combination is chosen must be in conformity with international legal standards and obligations. Ideally, it also addresses the underlying roots of the conflict, such as inequalities and discrimination, to prevent the resurgence of violence and to build long-lasting peace, fosters social dialogue, and reinforces the rule of law.
    The aims of transitional justice will vary depending on the context but these features are constant: the recognition of the dignity of individuals; the redress and acknowledgment of violations; and the aim to prevent them happening again. The term “transitional Justice” comes into exist when various American academics coined the term in the 1990s to describe the different ways that countries had approached the problems of new regimes coming to power faced with massive violations by their predecessors. It was simply a descriptive term. It did not suggest that there was a standard approach or even common principles, as can be seen from the huge variety of ways different countries did or did not try to address violations. The term took hold, especially in the USA, due to the great interest in the way former Soviet Bloc countries were dealing with the legacy of totalitarianism.
    Transitional justice mobilizes numerous actors, international, regional and national institutions as well as civil society organizations. On the long run, their work is crucial to re-establish the rule of law and public trust towards the State.
    Complementary aims Transitional Justice may include:
    • Establishing accountable institutions and restoring confidence in them;
    • Making access to justice a reality for the most vulnerable in society in the aftermath of violations;
    • Ensuring that women and marginalized groups play an effective role in the pursuit of a just society;
    • Respect for the rule of law;
    • Facilitating peace processes, and fostering durable resolution of conflicts;
    • Establishing a basis to address the underlying causes of conflict and marginalization;
    • Advancing the cause of reconciliation;
    There are four pillars of transitional justice:
    Truth: establishing and acknowledging the truth on the violations committed is the first step towards social dialogue and even reconciliation. All parties to the conflict, and most importantly victims and their families, have the right to make their voice heard and their questions answered. Society at large has the right to know the truth about past events and the perpetration of heinous crimes. This is pivotal to address – and possibly punish – past abuses, but it also represents a solid bulwark against the recurrence of similar violations in the future.
    Justice: the identification and prosecution of perpetrators of gross human rights violations and international crimes is crucial, as it serves both a preventive and reparative purpose. Strong accountability mechanisms show that atrocities do not go unpunished, thereby deterring future abuses.
    Reparation: victims of gross human rights violations have the right to receive adequate reparation for the harm suffered. Measures of reparation go well beyond economic compensation, and may also include symbolic gestures, such as public apologies and the building of memorials, and measures aiming at improving the life of victims and their families, like scholarships or access to health services.
    Guarantees of non-recurrence: learning from past mistakes, all efforts must be made to prevent gross human rights violations in the future. This includes mainly institutional reforms reinforcing accountability, transparency and fairness.

                  

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