A Critique of Rights in Transitional Justice: The African Experience
Published in Rethinking Transitions: Equality and Social Justice in Societies Emerging from Conflict, Gaby Oré Aguilar & Felipe Gómez Isa, eds.
This chapter interrogates the concept and application of transitional justice as a medium for the reclamation of post-conflict states in Africa. While it argues that transitional justice is an important – often indispensable – process in reconstructing post-despotic and battered societies, it nevertheless casts a jaundiced eye at traditionalist human rights approaches. It contends that individualist, non-collective, or non-community, approaches to transitional justice have serious limitations. It posits that the Nuremberg model, on which the ICTR and ICTY were based, while instructive, is severely constrained for the African landscape. It therefore makes the case for a holistic transitional justice approach that includes not just the revenge and other accountability elements of criminal judicial sanctions, but also focuses on truth, reconciliation, institutional reforms, and reparations. This “ubuntu” approach of “community wholesomeness” is necessary to heal society and restore its balance.”
Ubuntu, Africa, human rights, transitional justice, post-conflict societies, accountability, reconstruction, post-colonial, individualism, liberalism, capitalism, identity, community
Human Rights Law | Law
Makau W. Mutua, A Critique of Rights in Transitional Justice: The African Experience, in Rethinking Transitions: Equality and Social Justice in Societies Emerging from Conflict 31 (Gaby Oré Aguilar & Felipe Gómez Isa, eds., Intersentia 2011).