Atrocities and International Accountability: Beyond Transitional Justice

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Edel Hughes, William Schabas, Ramesh Chandra Thakur
United Nations University Press, 2007 - Law - 297 pages
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Rebuilding societies where conflict has occurred is rarely a simple process. Where conflict has been accompanied by gross and systematic violations of human rights, the procedure becomes very controversial.The traditional debate on "transitional justice" sought to balance justice, truth, accountability, peace, and stability. The appearance of impunity for past crimes undermines confidence in new democratic structures and casts doubt upon commitments to human rights. Yet the need to consolidate peace sometimes resulted in reluctance on the part of authorities —both local and international —to confront suspected perpetrators of human rights violations, especially when they are a part of a peace process. Experience in many regions of the world therefore suggested a tradeoff between peace and justice. But that is changing.There is a growing consensus that some forms of justice and accountability are integral to —rather than in tension with —peace and stability. This volume considers whether we are truly going beyond the transitional justice debate. It brings together eminent scholars and practitioners with direct experience in some of the most challenging cases of international justice, and illustrates that justice and accountability remain complex, but not mutually exclusive, ideals.

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Does power trump morality? Reconciliation or transitional
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About the author (2007)

William A. Schabas is professor of human rights law at National University of Ireland in Galway, and director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights. Ramesh Thakur is a distinguished fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation and professor of political science at the University of Waterloo, Canada. He previously served as senior vice-rector of the United Nations University and assistant secretary general of the United Nations. Edel Hughes is junior lecturer in law at the University of Limerick, Ireland and a Ph.D. candidate at the Irish Centre for Human Rights, National University of Ireland.

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