Sexing the Subject of Transitional Justice


Rimmer, Susan Harris. 2010. “Sexing the Subject of Transitional Justice.” The Australian Feminist Law Journal 32: 123-47.

Author: Susan Harris Rimmer


In the absence of the requisite political will at both the domestic and international level, transitional justice mechanisms can be manipulated or rendered impotent, whilst creating false expectations, waylaying the efforts of human rights advocates and costing millions of donor dollars. A feminist strategic legalist approach would focus on gaining the full participation of women in peace negotiations and key decisions about transitional justice processes and the development of a justice sector, and preserving evidence and acquiring data in relation to international and domestic gender crimes for the day when fair trials can be held. The formal ending of violence does not necessarily mean the achievement of peace, rather it provides a 'new set of opportunities that can be grasped or thrown away'. Law in a transitional period might hold an 'independent potential for effecting transformative politics' and 'liberalising' change. On the other hand, in the context of the societal breakdown caused by armed conflict, feminist scholars may be asking international law to engage in too much 'heavylifting'. If transitional justice represents theory and praxis in a liminal zone between international relations and international law, both of which have proved resistant to feminist analysis, why are many feminists so confident that transitional justice represents an opportunity for transformative change?

Topics: Armed Conflict, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Post-Conflict Governance, International Law, International Criminal Law, International Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law (IHL), International Organizations, Justice, International Tribunals & Special Courts, War Crimes, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Political Participation, Post-Conflict, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights

Year: 2010

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