Transitional justice is commonly understood as the set of legal and political mechanisms that societies that overcome an authoritarian regime or an armed conflict implement to deal with violations of human rights that occurred on a large scale in the past. Mechanisms often include trials, truth-seeking measures, reparations, and guarantees of non-repetition.
As these mechanisms are increasingly applied in post-conflict societies, many of them affected by pervasive patterns of poverty and inequality that affect victims and non-victims alike, the question of whether transitional justice should meet distributive justice objectives has emerged strongly in academia and advocacy sectors. While there is ample recognition that issues related to distributive justice, such as the guarantee of economic and social rights (ESRs) cannot be ignored, the field is divided as to whether transitional justice itself should address them, with some advocating an expansive approach to transitional justice, while others are more cautious given the implementation gap that has traditionally plagued the field even in pursuit of much more modest goals. These positions, however, have two important similarities... Read full article