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The Oxford Handbook of the Theory of International Law edited by Orford, Anne; Hoffmann, Florian (2nd June 2016)

Part III Regimes and Doctrines, Ch.38 Theories of Transitional Justice: Cashing in the Blue Chips

Vasuki Nesiah

From: The Oxford Handbook of the Theory of International Law

Edited By: Anne Orford, Florian Hoffmann

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved.date: 25 June 2019

Subject(s):
Human rights remedies — Political violence — Rape and sexual violence — General principles of international law — Sources of international law

This chapter examines the utopias called forth by the marriage of human rights accountability mechanisms on the one hand, and, on the other, arguments about the practical significance of these initiatives as preconditions for development, democracy, and political society. Transitional justice is seen to marry the ethical charge of the human rights field’s march against impunity, with an instrumental potential facilitating transition from the rule of violence into the rule of law. If the normative theories and agendas implicated by this marriage are advanced as being in the interests of justice, the accompanying instrumental theories and agendas are advanced in the interests of transition. Justice and transition operate here as allied and mutually reinforcing aspirations of and rationales for transitional justice institutions. Thus, this chapter identifies and analyses the stakes that attend this marriage of ‘ethics’ and ‘expertise’ in constituting the utopian political imagination of transitional justice.

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