Learning to scale up restorative justice

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    Abstract

    A limitation of transitional justice with limited years of existence is that many of the worst victims are afraid to come forward, not ready to do so, or too busy rebuilding burnt homes and caring for burnt loved ones during those few years. One option is a permanent Truth Commission that keeps its doors open to victim testimony in perpetuity. Even well-funded truth commissions such as that of Timor-Leste provide the opportunity for some form of restorative justice to only a tiny proportion of the victims who would like it. In the case of Timor-Leste, many individual victims and many villages were asking for the Community Reconciliation Program to come to their village at the time that program ended with the closing of the doors of the Timor-Leste Commission (see discussion below). The transience of transitional justice is compounded by the failure to invest in management improvement of transitional justice institutions. Transitional justice learns little. It does not monitor continuous improvement in the proportion of victims who are getting a form of justice they value. Transitional justice does not improve in iterated processes of fail fast, learn fast, adapt fast. Instead it fails fast, learns little, claims fast the closure that 'something has been done'. This chapter proposes a remedy to this limitation in the form of a permanent Truth and Reconciliation Commission that keeps its doors open to victim testimony in perpetuity. It is argued that dealing with the harms that have been caused during an extended period of conflict and/or oppression in a manner that does not set time frames might result in a transformation of transitional justice that is more victim focused.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationRestorative Justice in Transitional Settings
    Editors Kerry Clamp
    Place of PublicationAbingdon, United Kingdom
    PublisherRoutledge Taylor & Francis Group
    Pages173-189
    Edition1
    ISBN (Print)9781138851931
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

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