Rethinking 'civil society' and 'victim-centred' transitional justice in Timor-Leste

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    Over the course of conducting research in Timor-Leste over the past decade I have become increasingly aware of the limits of the globalised, standardised model of transitional justice. My research has revealed to me that local understandings and expectations of transitional justice exceed – perhaps inevitably – the justice possibilities available through formal, time-bound mechanisms such as criminal prosecutions and truth commissions. It has also highlighted that the process of ‘dealing with the past’ is not confined to the initial transitional period but is being shaped in an ongoing way through the practices of, and the interactions between, a wide range of actors who possess varying degrees of power. These observations have led me to argue that transitional justice needs to be thought about differently – as a dynamic and open-ended social and political process, rather than as a short-term project oriented around a set of formal mechanisms. In other words, I have come to the view that transitional justice scholars, practitioners and activists need to move beyond a preoccupation with official institutions and short-term outcomes and consider how best to support people’s ongoing and locally grounded efforts to rebuild their lives after conflict.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationCivil Society and Transitional Justice in Asia and the Pacific
    Editors Lia Kent, Joanne Wallis & Claire Cronin
    Place of PublicationCanberra, Australia
    PublisherANU Press
    ISBN (Print)9781760463281
    Publication statusPublished - 2019


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