Chapter 29 Sociology of transitional justice: global and comparative perspectives
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Transitional justice (hereinafter TJ) is an exceptional and transitory framework for societies that attempt to address the legacies of disruptive violent conflict, war or other situations of stark political and social confrontation. The content and extent of TJ has been progressively identified with the rights to justice, truth, reparations, and guarantees of non-repetition as its four main ‘pillars’. The object of TJ has varied both in theory and practice: from political transitions overcoming dictatorships and authoritarian regimes; to dealing with serious human rights violations and crimes committed under regimes of Apartheid and ethnic discrimination; and addressing violations and rights committed during on-going violent conflicts. This chapter provides and overview of TJ, analysing particular debates about the concept, using comparative examples and literature about the field, and linking them to some discussions in socio-legal studies. The central problems selected for this purpose are: the truth clarification debate; the impunity and sanctioning debate; and the reparation and restoration debate.

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