Research Handbook on International Law and Peace
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Research Handbook on International Law and Peace

Edited by Cecilia M. Bailliet

Peace is an elusive concept, especially within the field of international law, varying according to historical era and between contextual applications within different cultures, institutions, societies, and academic traditions. This Research Handbook responds to the gap created by the neglect of peace in international law scholarship. Explaining the normative evolution of peace from the principles of peaceful co-existence to the UN declaration on the right to peace, this Research Handbook calls for the fortification of international institutions to facilitate the pursuit of sustainable peace as a public good.
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Chapter 18: Building trust through accountability: transitional justice in the search for peace

Jemima García-Godos

Abstract

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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