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15 Colum. J. Gender & L. 813 (2006)
Gendered Subject of Transitional Justice

handle is hein.journals/coljgl15 and id is 809 raw text is: 



        Transitional societies must contend with a range of complex
challenges as they seek to come to terms with and move beyond an
immediate past saturated with mass murder, rape, torture, exploitation,
disappearance, displacement, starvation, and all other manner of human
suffering. Questions of justice figure prominently in these transitional
moments, and they do so in a dual fashion that is at once backward and
forward looking. Successor governments must think creatively about
building institutions that bring justice to the past, while at the same time
demonstrate a commitment that justice will form a bedrock of governance
in the present and future. This is no easy task, and shortcuts, both in dealing
with the past and in building a just future, often appear irresistible. In
Martha Minow's words, justice at this juncture amounts to replacing
violence with words and terror with fairness, 1 and steering a path
between too much memory and too much forgetting.2
        The template of mechanisms available to undertake transitional
justice are familiar to those who work in this field: prosecutions (domestic
and international); truth and reconciliation commissions; lustration (the
shaming and banning of perpetrators from public office); public access to
police, military and other governmental records; public apology; public
memorials; reburial of victims; compensation or reparation to victims
and/or their families (in the form of money, land, or other resources);
literary and historical writing; and blanket or individualized amnesty. In
most cases, justice demands the deployment of a number of these tools,
given that no one of them can adequately address and repair the injuries of
the past nor chart a fully just future. Transitional justice will always be both
incomplete and messy.

        * Professor, Columbia Law School. This Essay was originally prepared for the
International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) meeting on gender and transitional
justice, held in Bellagio, Italy, on March 17-20, 2005.
        2 Id. at 4.

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