Episodes
The German recognition of the genocide in Namibia In June, Germany officially recognized the genocide against the Herero and Nama people of 1904-1908, acknowledging the responsibility of the German colonial authorities in Namibia and offering a reparation of 1,1 billion euros. Nama and Herero people were deliberately targeted under German colonization, resulting in tens of thousands of deaths (estimates go as far as 80% of the Herero and Nama minorities), confiscation of land and livestock,...
Published 07/08/21
Transitional justice's role in addressing Belgium’s colonial past Belgium is the first country to establish a parliamentary commission dealing with its overseas colonial past in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, and Rwanda. The commission was established in July 2020. This happened after the public outcry about George Floyd’s murder, the surge of the Black Lives Matter movement, huge anti-racism protests, and a growing debate about Belgium’s colonial heritage, illustrated by the...
Published 06/08/21
In this episode, we put a spotlight on the Democratic Republic of Congo where a truth and reconciliation commission (TRC) was established in 2003, in an attempt to bring an end to hostilities and pave the way to democratization. However, the TRC was short-lived, leaving victims of mass atrocities with fewer avenues for the right to truth. Recently, the government of President Felix Tshisekedi has shown willingness to support the installment of a new TRC and to set up a reparations fund for...
Published 05/07/21
Accountability and the Human Rights Council Sri Lanka’s present is haunted by memories of the island’s decades-long civil war, which ended just over a decade ago. The war was mainly a clash between the Sinhalese-dominated Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) insurgent group, the latter of which had hoped to establish a separate state for the Tamil minority. Although the Civil War ended in 2009, the current situation in Sri Lanka has only partially improved. A...
Published 03/31/21
What the Charlie Hebdo trial could have learned from transitional justice In 2015 terror attacks against Charlie Hebdo and in a Jewish supermarket paralyzed Paris. All three attackers were killed in standoffs with the police on 9 January 2015. Five years later, during an emotional three-month trial, victims were given a venue to share their testimonies as civil parties. The trial resulted in guilty verdicts against all 14 accused.  In this episode, we examine whether it makes sense to look...
Published 02/19/21
Dismantling peace and reparations  In July 2020, President Alejandro Giammattei issued a series of decrees closing down several institutions created to comply with the Peace Accords signed by the Guatemalan State in 1996. One of these decrees: a) closes the Peace Secretariat (SEPAZ), an institution tasked with managing the National Program of Reparations (PNR) for the victims of the armed conflict, and b) orders the transfer of the PNR to the Ministry of Social Development. Neither victims...
Published 01/21/21
From social protest to reforming rights: understanding Chile’s ongoing transition On the 25th of October 2020, an overwhelming majority of Chilean citizens (78%) voted in favor of redrafting the constitution, following a year of protests. Many believe the constitution of 1980 is withholding Chile from fully leaving behind its past of military dictatorship. Some even call it ‘the constitution of Pinochet’. The referendum was organized in an attempt to meet the demands of protesters that took...
Published 12/17/20
Justice for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence in Syria Since the start of the uprising in 2011, sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) has been perpetrated by various parties to the Syrian conflict, mainly the Assad regime, rebel groups, and the Islamic State. Perpetrators resorted to this kind of violence to instill fear, weaken political opposition, punish and deter civilians, and further sectarianism. As the UN Commission of Inquiry emphasizes in its report ‘I lost my...
Published 12/03/20
What does the death of defendants in high-profile transitional justice cases mean for victims? On 2 September 2020, Kaing Guek Eav, known as Comrade Duch, a former senior figure of the Khmer Rouge convicted of war crimes against humanity in Cambodia, died. He was serving a life sentence after being found guilty of war crimes by the UN-backed Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) in 2010. He was in charge of the S-21 Security Centre in Phnom Penh, where at least 12,000...
Published 11/11/20
Memory and narratives play a crucial role in transitional justice. What do we remember of past violence, and how do we narrate those memories? In which ways can such narratives, in all their complexity, help us to better understand violence? Literature is one place where we often find narratives of violence, but also in transitional justice narratives are everywhere: they lie at the basis of truth-seeking, and criminal justice trials might stand or fall depending on how victims narrate their...
Published 09/29/20
How to hold perpetrators of crimes against humanity or war crimes accountable? Bringing perpetrators of crimes against humanity, war crimes, or genocide to justice is a complex task, and it tends to be extremely difficult to find courts willing to prosecute perpetrators within the territories where crimes have been committed. However, when domestic trials or referrals to an international court are not possible, universal jurisdiction offers a way to prosecute perpetrators of these crimes in...
Published 06/29/20
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think about human rights violations? Chances are that you are thinking about issues like torture, political detention, disappearance or extrajudicial killings – in other words, violations of civil and political rights. This set of rights continues to enjoy a privileged status in a lot of the human rights scholarship and practice. Unsurprisingly, violations of these rights have also been the focus of most transitional justice interventions....
Published 05/28/20
When talking about victim participation in transitional justice processes, we need to better understand the notions of victim, victimhood, and victimization, as well as the related phenomena of retraumatization and tertiary victimization. In this episode, we talk to scholars, practitioners, and artists to arrive at a more responsive and empowering understanding.
Published 04/30/20
Published 04/30/20
From the previous episode, it became clear how strongly the field of transitional justice is interwoven with that of international criminal justice. What does that mean for the evolution of the field of transitional justice and where it is going, especially with regard to the role played by victims in this process? In this episode we talk to Laurel Fletcher, director of the International Human Rights Law Clinic at Berkeley Law, to better understand where we come from and where we are headed,...
Published 04/01/20
Victim participation is receiving increasing attention in transitional justice. In the pilot episode, it became clear that there is potentially tremendous value in victim participation, but that there are also many pitfalls. Before we dive into the murkiest questions facing us in practice, we take a step back and ask two of the legal experts affiliated to Justice Visions, Stephan Parmentier and Rudina Jasini,  what is even possible – legally speaking – in terms of victim participation: what...
Published 02/28/20
Welcome to the first introductory episode of Justice Visions Talks, your go to for everything that is new and innovative in the domain of transitional justice . In this short introductory episode we want to briefly tell you more about what you can expect from us, how this podcast came about and why you should listen to it.
Published 12/11/19