Traditionally, transitional justice processes have narrowly focused on violations of civil and political rights (right to life / freedom from torture) and have largely ignored violations of economic, social and cultural (ESC) rights (right to health / education / work). ESC rights are often viewed as being better addressed by more forward-looking processes, such as development schemes. Separating the two sets of rights, however, may ignore the underlying causes of conflict, such as structural inequality, leading to future tensions.
This seminar will explore the conceptual relationship between transitional justice, social justice, and human rights. It aims to examine why ESC rights violations have or have not been included in TJ mechanisms with a view to providing answers both to the kinds of obstacles that prevent making TJ processes more inclusive, and to the dangers of doing so.
The seminar aims to address the following broader questions:
- Can transitional justice frameworks adequately address violations of economic, social and cultural rights?
- Should transitional justice aim to transform societies and/or the lives of individuals affected by serious human rights violations?
- And, if so, does transitional justice need to think beyond human rights frameworks in order to become transformational?