Moving Beyond Transitions to Transformation: Interactions between Transitional Justice...


This paper was developed as a follow-up to the Fifth Edinburgh Dialogue on Post-Conflict Constitution Building held in December 2018. The workshop was jointly organized by International IDEA, the Edinburgh Center for Constitutional Law and the Global Justice Academy, in association with the Political Settlements Research Programme of the University of Edinburgh.

There is increased recognition of the need for ‘stronger coordination amongst peacebuilding, development and justice responses in fragile situations’ (Powell 2010: 231) and for increased attention to be given to the possible linkages between these and other aspects of post-conflict and political transitions. This paper responds to these needs, with a focus on the interactions between two particular processes: transitional justice and constitution-building. Examining the interactions between transitional justice and constitution-building is worthwhile because of the frequency with which the two processes occur in overlapping settings and also because of the substantive overlap in the principles that shape the processes. This suggests that anticipating and intentionally designing for the coordinated implementation of the two processes could allow both transitional justice and constitution-building to better meet their proclaimed aims, including reconciliation, institutional reform and, arguably, sustainable peace.