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Transitional justice and sanctions

30-06-2008 Article, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 870, by Eric Sottas

Transitional justice aims at once to restore victims’ dignity, build confidence between warring groups, and foster the institutional changes needed to bring about a new relationship within the population, in order to usher in the rule of law without endorsing practices that amount to total or partial impunity. In situations of post-conflict, however, governments are also faced with other pressing needs. This article explores the relationship between these needs and transitional justice mechanisms and critically evaluates their influence on the forms justice has taken in post-conflict situations.


Eric Sottas is Secretary-General of the World Organization Against Torture (OMCT), the main international coalition of non-governmental organizations engaged in the fight against torture.

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