Research Handbook on Transitional Justice
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Research Handbook on Transitional Justice

Edited by Cheryl Lawther, Luke Moffett and Dov Jacobs

Providing detailed and comprehensive coverage of the transitional justice field, this Research Handbook brings together leading scholars and practitioners to explore how societies deal with mass atrocities after periods of dictatorship or conflict. Situating the development of transitional justice in its historical context, social and political context, it analyses the legal instruments that have emerged.
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Chapter 24: Transitional justice and the case of Palestine

Brendan Ciarán Browne


The enduring political stalemate in Israel–Palestine is indicative of the myriad failed peacebuilding attempts in the region and has resulted in a growing sense of disillusionment for any hope of enduring resolution. Against the backdrop of a seemingly endless cycle of inter-group conflict, the entrenchment of the Israeli Occupation and further marginalization of the aspirations of Palestinian refugees, a rapidly expanding grassroots activist movement has blossomed in an effort to realize some form of ‘justice’ for those most beleaguered. This chapter analyses the ad hoc transitional justice mechanisms that have been considered in recent years in an effort to bring about some form of redress. Beginning with an overview of the contested historical narratives, an insight into the failed political processes and turning next to examine the divergent top-down and bottom-up approaches that have sought an end to the impasse, the chapter emphasizes the highly challenging environment in which grassroots movements dedicated to memory-recall, the realization of justice, and some form of resolution to the conflict, attempt to operate against. The ongoing attacks on grassroots movements by an Israeli government seemingly intent on airbrushing from history the Palestinian narrative of the events of 1948, one that is divergent to their own, is discussed with a view to highlighting the limits of transitional justice in generating a conciliatory climate in which peace may be forged. Palestine; bottom-up transitional justice; top-down transitional justice

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