Publication Details

Hawksley, C. (2014). The dynamics of transitional justice: international models and local realities in East Timor. Griffith Law Review, 23 (1), 147-149.


[extract] As Ruti Teitel has outlined, transitional justice can be seen as evolving in three phases. The first involved criminal trials, such as Nuremberg and Tokyo, which sought to hold individuals accountable for abuses of human rights during World War II, and this was buttressed by the development of various international legal instruments to protect rights which today constitute a central aspect of approaches to transitional justice. In the 1980s and 1990s a second phase of transitional justice occurred with post-dictatorship tribunals and bodies such as truth commissions, both of which 'thickened' transitional justice by introducing a restorative element. The third phase has involved the normalisation of transitional justice mechanisms through international tribunals and the International Criminal Court, and national and hybrid tribunals and courts increasingly link transitional justice with modern state-building in post-conflict societies. As Lia Kent outlines in this important study, in the case of East Timor (Timor Leste) the 'toolkit' for dealing with post-conflict situations involved both retributive and restorative mechanisms, but international and local agendas can differ widely when it comes to the idea of a society 'moving on'.



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