Dealing with the Past: Transitional, Restorative and Transformative Approaches to Justice
Among the most daunting challenges facing societies and communities trying to move on from a history or episode of violence is how to tackle the debilitating, lingering impacts of that violence. Long after a formal peace has been declared, victims, especially, may feel the war still raging – in a relentless demand for justice, and for answers, in the damages and loss that now form part of their everyday life, in the lack of any real change. Dealing with the Past (DwP) comprises creative strategies capable of shifting context – whether through the productive policy compromises that have become known as ‘transitional justice’, the more interpersonal exchanges that make up restorative justice practices, or the tackling of conditions that enable violence and violation to occur at all.
The training covers these three approaches to addressing needs and challenges ensuing from violence, drawing on the Dealing with the Past Conceptual Framework (widely used in Germany’s and Switzerland’s multi- and bi-lateral cooperation abroad); on tools of restorative justice practice; and on scholarly literature from the groundbreaking approach known as Transformative Justice.
- Dealing with the Past
- Truth Commissions
- Reparations, including Guarantees of Non-Recurrence
- Transitional Justice, Restorative Justice, and Transformative Justice
- Victim-Offender Mediation
- To expose trainees to the challem anges to peace that ensue fron episode of mass violence in which gross violations of human rights (GVHRs) have occurred.
- To introduce trainees to the concept of Conflict Transformation (as distinct from Conflict Resolution)
- To establish trainees’ fluency in approaches to DwP and its core concepts, including transitional justice, reparations, truth commissions, and restorative justice.
- To enable trainees to use these terms and theories, along with practical tools drawn from restorative justice practice, in order to analyze and develop a strategy for one contemporary situation of their choosing.
- To expose participants to examples of civil society facilitated DwP initiatives, including victim-offender mediation, restorative circles, truth recovery through oral storytelling within communities, and the use of the arts – including theatre, film music, memorials, images - to help deal with historical trauma.
The thematic training is designed with several types of participants in mind:
- Practitioners with projects in transitional settings that have been impacted by an episode of mass and / or systemic violence on.
- Practitioners working on processes of healing and reconciliation in communities that have experienced violence.
- Scholars and graduate students seeking to learn about transitional justice, restorative practices, and other approaches to Dealing with the Past, along with an opportunity to apply their learnings to a particular case.
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