Edited by Cecilia M. Bailliet
Chapter 18: Building trust through accountability: transitional justice in the search for peace
This chapter addresses national and international efforts of post-conflict reconstruction and reconciliation in societies emerging from armed conflict or authoritarian regimes. Such efforts place great emphasis on the need for accountability for past human rights violations. The assumption behind these efforts is that justice must be addressed if the goal is a stable, long-lasting peace. Based on a discussion of victims’ rights and the links between justice and peace, this chapter argues that transitional justice is a constitutive element of positive peace because it contributes to rebuild relations of trust in post-conflict societies. The chapter addresses the main transitional justice mechanisms applied by countries seeking to establish some form of accountability for past violations: prosecutions, truth commissions, and victim reparations, providing examples from specific transitional justice experiences in Latin America.
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