Preface

This book project was inspired by the heady wave of liberalization at the end of the twentieth century. In the early 1980s, a debate emerged regarding the implications of "transitional justice" for states' liberalizing prospects. The question of "punishment or impunity," whether there is an obligation to punish in democratic transitions, was the subject of a policy meeting convened in 1990 at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, for which I was invited to prepare the background discussion paper. 1 At the time, I concluded that, despite the moral argument for punishment in the abstract, various alternatives to punishment could express the normative message of political transformation and the rule of law, with the aim of furthering democracy.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the fall of the Berlin Wall, the question of transitional justice took on renewed urgency. Those of us who had been involved in the debates concerning the Latin American transitions participated in debates convened in East and Central Europe. There the debate over punishment broadened to include the implications of the sweeping decommunization measures pervasive in the region. In 1992, I received a grant from the U.S. Institute of Peace to begin this comparative project and to advise governments on the issues of justice in transitions. Participating in several conferences in the region helped shape the issues: "Political Justice and Transition to the Rule of Law in East Central Europe," sponsored by the University of Chicago and by the Central European University in Prague in 1991, and the Salzburg Conference titled "Justice in Times of Transition" in 1992, convened by the Foundation for a Civil Society. In 1993, at a conference, "Restitution in Eastern Europe," convened by the Central European University, I presented ideas that were later elaborated on in the chapter on reparatory justice. My ideas concerning the role of historical inquiry were shaped by a conference I helped organize at the Central European University, Budapest, in the fall of 1992, and elaborated on in a paper delivered at a conference convened in 1994 at Yale Law, School titled "Deliberative Democracy and Human Rights." Fur-

-vii-

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Transitional Justice
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents xi
  • Introduction 3
  • Chapter One - the Rule of Law in Transition 11
  • Chapter Two - Criminal Justice 27
  • Chapter Three - Historical Justice 69
  • Chapter Four - Reparatory Justice 119
  • Chapter Five - Administrative Justice 149
  • Chapter Six - Constitutional Justice 191
  • Chapter Seven - Toward a Theory of Transitional Justice 213
  • Epilogue 229
  • Notes 231
  • Index 285
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