Global study on transitional justice: report


Published
7 August 2017
Issued by
The Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence
Presented
At the 36th session of the HRC

Background

The Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence submits the global study on transitional justice in accordance with Human Rights Council resolution 18/7. The purpose of the report is to describe the most important advances in transitional justice, assess the current challenges facing its implementation and make recommendations to meet those challenges.

Summary

In the first part, the Special Rapporteur describes the evolution of the field over the last thirty years, highlighting distinctive regional approaches and debates.

In the second, he addresses the many advances in the field, primary among them the unpacking of the concept of justice into its set of constituent elements as well as placing victims at the centre of discussions and integrating a gender lens. He highlights innovations that the field has made to the achievement of rights, including mitigating the effects of amnesties, the design of prosecutorial strategies to address system crimes, the use of truth commissions, comprehensive reparations programmes capable of providing complex benefits to large universes of victims, and institutional, security sector and cultural reform initiatives.

The third section describes some challenges facing the field. External challenges include “double standards” in the implementation of measures and the closing of civic space globally. In relation to internal challenges, the Special Rapporteur highlights the expansion of transitional justice mandates without sufficient sensitivity to functional and institutional requirements for success, or to basic features of the context of implementation. In the fourth section, he makes recommendations on ways to respond to these challenges.