Whose Justice? Rethinking Transitional Justice from the Bottom Up

Lundy, P. and McGovern, M. (2008) Whose Justice? Rethinking Transitional Justice from the Bottom Up. Journal Of Law And Society, 35 (2). pp. 265-292. ISSN 0263-323X DOI https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6478.2008.00438.x

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Abstract

This paper argues that transitional justice needs to adopt a participatory approach to achieve longer-term sustainability, shifting away from the top-down ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to allow ‘voices from below’ to be heard and heeded. It critiques dominant interpretations of key transitional justice concepts, and links them to the difficulties of post-conflict transitional justice in a range of violently divided societies. Popular participation and local agency, it is argued, is necessary to achieve ends identified in much transitional justice discourse, and to embed mechanisms for the creation of sustainable peace. A Northern Ireland initiative (the Ardoyne Commemoration Project) will be explored in-depth, illustrating how a bottom-up ‘truth-telling’ process can make a significant contribution to transitional justice and casting doubt on the validity of the deference to legal dominance in current policy and practice. The paper recommends that knowledge available in development studies and participatory theory be applied more clearly in debates and approaches in transitional justice.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Politics
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2010 16:00
URI: http://repository.edgehill.ac.uk/id/eprint/1352

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