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Facing the Past

Amending Historical Injustices Through Instruments of Transitional Justice

Book | 1st edition 2016 | World | Peter Malcontent

How do societies at the national and international level try to overcome historical injustices? What remedies did they develop to do justice to victims of large scale atrocities? And even more important: what have we learned from the implementation of these so-called instruments of transitional justice in practice?

Lawyers, socials scientists and historians have published shelves full of books and articles on how to confront the past through international criminal tribunals, truth commissions, financial compensation schemes and other instruments of retributive/punitive and restorative justice. A serious problem continues to be that broad interdisciplinary accounts that include both categories of measures are still hardly available. With this volume a group of international experts in the field endeavors to fill this gap, and even more. By alternating historical overviews with critical assessments this volume does not only offer an extensive introduction to the world of transitional justice, but also food for thought concerning the effectiveness of the remedies it offers to face the past successfully.

‘This synthetic volume is a comprehensive introduction to the various facets of the field of historical injustice of which transnational justice is its best known manifestation. This practical and thoughtful publication addresses critical aspects that challenge the goal of redressing the past as these are presented in scholarship, advocacy and policy. The book delves into questions from justice to ethics and to education and would be useful for students as well as policy makers.’
Elazar Barkan, Columbia University

‘This is a superb reference work on Transitional Justice, covering nearly all of the general questions regarding the various mechanisms in its toolbox, and the combinations thereof, and including case studies and pending cases. It provides expert analyses of transitional justice in post-conflict, post-authoritarian, and democratic states, presenting problems and solutions. The subjects broadly range from apologies to corporate complicity, to America’s self-proclaimed exceptionalism when it comes to confronting onerous chapters of its past. In recent years, a number of problematic cases have emerged that will require us to re-think the transitional justice toolbox – this volume offers a solid basis from which to depart’
Nanci Adler, University of Amsterdam

Technical info
More Information
Type of product Book
Format Hardback
EAN / ISSN 9781780684031 / 9781780685267
Series name Series on Transitional Justice
Weight 825 g
Status Available
Number of pages viii + 388 p.
Access to exercice No
Publisher Intersentia
Language English
Publication Date Jul 29, 2016
Available on Jurisquare No
Available on Strada Belgique No
Available on Strada Europe No
Available on Strada Luxembourg No


  • Contents
  • Introduction
  • Do Bystanders Exist?
  • The Marketisation of Historical Injustice
  • Introduction
  • Pacting the Law within Politics. Lessons from the International Criminal Court's First Investigations
  • National and Hybrid Tribunals. Benefits and Challenges
  • Beyond the Courtroom. The Objectives and Experiences of International Justice at the Grassroots
  • From Gacaca to Mato Oput. Pragmatism and Principles in Employing Traditional Dispute Resolution Mechanisms
  • Dealing with Organisations and Corporations
  • Introduction
  • The Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth? On the Role of Truth Commissions in Facing the Past
  • Official Apologies
  • Financial Compensation as a Political Process
  • Education in the Shadow of History. Education, History Education, and their Place in Historical Justice
  • Governing through Repair. Historical Injustices and Indigenous Peoples in Canada
  • The Unfulfilled Promise of Protection. The Netherlands and Srebrenica
  • Facing the Armenian Genocide. A History of Denial and Politics
  • The United States and Torture. The Politics of Transitional Justice
  • Author Information