Transitional Justice and Displacement


Duthie, Roger. 2011. “Transitional Justice and Displacement.” International Journal of Transitional Justice 5 (2): 241–61. doi:10.1093/ijtj/ijr009.

Author: Roger Duthie


The displacement of people from their homes and communities as a result of conflict and human rights abuses is an important factor in the contexts in which transitional justice normally operates. Yet, it is one that has not figured prominently in either the literature or the practice of transitional justice. This article is an attempt to think through how transitional justice fits within the broader response to the problem of displacement. It argues that transitional justice can and should address displacement, but in doing so it must take into account and establish links with other relevant actors. The first section of the article considers some of the reasons why displacement, as a human rights issue, is of concern to transitional justice, as well as some examples of transitional justice measures that have dealt with displacement. The following two sections raise questions about the capacity of transitional justice measures meaningfully to engage displaced persons and their concerns. The next three sections then try to identify some linkages between transitional justice measures and the work of displacement actors, including potential tensions, opportunities for cooperation and coordination and avenues of mutual reinforcement. The article concludes with a broader perspective on how transitional justice may conceptually fit within a comprehensive and coherent approach to displacement.

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Gender, Women, Justice, Transitional Justice, Post-Conflict

Year: 2011

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