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  • Print publication year: 2013
  • Online publication date: December 2020

Introduction

Summary

The third part explores some of the alternative justice mechanisms that are emerging within the transitional justice framework. In Chapter 8 Zinsstag considers the positive potential a restorative justice approach as a way to transcend the reliance on punitive measures of justice in a retributive model. She argues that this approach encompasses the entire community's interests and needs, not just those of the individual victim and she also considers the actions and responsibilities of that community both for the social and structural contexts in which the offenses took place and for the development and implementation of the reconciliatory process that will follow and hopefully restore harmony. She specifically considers whether a restorative justice approach would be effective as a way to achieve transitional justice response in the context of sexual violence committed during armed conflicts. Given the relative newness of the restorative justice approach, Zinsstag is cautious about urging more than just the incorporation of a few aspects of the model at this time. Looking to the Sierra Leone Truth Commission as a form of restorative project, she ends with some tentative optimism about the model's possibilities in the future.

Maisel's Chapter 9 looks into feminist approaches to remediating structural sexism and improving truth and reconciliation processes in the United States. This chapter approaches the concepts of conflict, harm, and justice from a broad and inclusive perspective. The conflict she examines also differs from others discussed in the collection both because of the remoteness of the events that lead to the Commission and because the process was not undertaken by the government or a formal legal body, but by citizens with the assistance of outsiders to the community who had experience with truth commissions elsewhere. She analyses the Greensboro experience and compares it with the literature on truth and reconciliation commissions at the international level, arguing that there is room for improvement in dealing with past human rights violations in the United States.

Wasonga in Chapter 10 examines the transitional justice process situated in northern Uganda as illustrative of the struggle between punitive and restorative justice approaches.