Judging the past : truth, justice, and reconciliation from Nuremberg to South Africa / by Bronwyn Anne Leebaw.
This dissertation examines the evolution and political implications of competing theoretical approaches to “transitional justice” and considers how they might be critically assessed. The first section of the dissertation examines the theoretical dilemmas of transitional justice by drawing on the work of Karl Jaspers, Hannah Arendt, Theodor Adorno, and Jürgen Habermas. It argues that the contemporary debate on truth commissions and international criminal tribunals has been preoccupied with the symbolic dimension of transitional justice, and that more attention should be given to the role of political judgment in the design of such institutions and to the historical records that they generate. The second section charts the evolution of two distinct approaches to transitional justice: the prosecutorial approach, championed by most human rights organizations, and the “restorative” approach, developed by South African leaders. By tracing the interplay of political and moral claims in the design of contemporary transitional justice projects, the project aims to sheds light on the potential risks and contributions of transitional justice to the democratization process, as well as the role of international human rights in addressing domestic conflict and historical injustice.
Record last modified: 2018-04-24 16:01:00
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