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Transitional justice and cultural contexts: learning from the Universality debate

Lieselotte Viaene (UGent) and Eva Brems (UGent)
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Abstract
Whenever a society faces the difficult process of substantial political transition after a period of gross human rights violations, the issues of justice, reconciliation, truth and reparation appear on the agenda. They form the key concepts of the emerging global paradigm of transitional justice. This booming field is faced with several unresolved and contested issues one of which is a criticism based on local and cultural particularities. In this article it is argued that it is useful to draw lessons from the universality-diversity debate in international human rights law and confront them with local and cultural challenges that arise in the transitional justice context. It seems that the ideal of inclusiveness that remains hard to realise in human rights law, despite theoretical consensus, might have better chances of being put in practice in transitional justice initiatives.
Keywords
THEORY AND PRACTICE, CULTURAL RELATIVISM, GUATEMALA, RWANDA, SIERRA LEONE, MOZAMBIQUE, HUMAN RIGHTS, VICTIMS' PERSPECTIVES, LOCALIZING TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE, CASE STUDIES, TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE

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Chicago
Viaene, Lieselotte, and Eva Brems. 2010. “Transitional Justice and Cultural Contexts: Learning from the Universality Debate.” Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights 28 (2): 199–224.
APA
Viaene, L., & Brems, E. (2010). Transitional justice and cultural contexts: learning from the Universality debate. NETHERLANDS QUARTERLY OF HUMAN RIGHTS, 28(2), 199–224.
Vancouver
1.
Viaene L, Brems E. Transitional justice and cultural contexts: learning from the Universality debate. NETHERLANDS QUARTERLY OF HUMAN RIGHTS. 2010;28(2):199–224.
MLA
Viaene, Lieselotte, and Eva Brems. “Transitional Justice and Cultural Contexts: Learning from the Universality Debate.” NETHERLANDS QUARTERLY OF HUMAN RIGHTS 28.2 (2010): 199–224. Print.
@article{901783,
  abstract     = {Whenever a society faces the difficult process of substantial political transition after a period of gross human rights violations, the issues of justice, reconciliation, truth and reparation appear on the agenda. They form the key concepts of the emerging global paradigm of transitional justice. This booming field is faced with several unresolved and contested issues one of which is a criticism based on local and cultural particularities. In this article it is argued that it is useful to draw lessons from the universality-diversity debate in international human rights law and confront them with local and cultural challenges that arise in the transitional justice context. It seems that the ideal of inclusiveness that remains hard to realise in human rights law, despite theoretical consensus, might have better chances of being put in practice in transitional justice initiatives.},
  author       = {Viaene, Lieselotte and Brems, Eva},
  issn         = {0169-3441},
  journal      = {NETHERLANDS QUARTERLY OF HUMAN RIGHTS},
  keyword      = {THEORY AND PRACTICE,CULTURAL RELATIVISM,GUATEMALA,RWANDA,SIERRA LEONE,MOZAMBIQUE,HUMAN RIGHTS,VICTIMS' PERSPECTIVES,LOCALIZING TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE,CASE STUDIES,TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {199--224},
  title        = {Transitional justice and cultural contexts: learning from the Universality debate},
  volume       = {28},
  year         = {2010},
}

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