News | Sept. 1, 2013

Transitional Justice for Syria

By Nicholas Rostow Strategic Forum 282

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Key Points

Transitional Justice for Syria
Transitional Justice for Syria
Strategic Forum 282
Photo By: NDU Press
VIRIN: 180313-D-BD104-002
  • Syrian political and community leaders are already planning for postconflict “transitional justice.” Transitional justice refers to the wish to hold perpetrators of atrocities accountable by means of some formal process that helps instill or rebuild the rule of law that replaces a former government perceived as unjust. 
  • No single model for transitional justice exists; in the course of confronting, overcoming, and recovering from serious domestic upheaval and conflict, a substantial number of countries have employed various means to achieve transitional justice. 
  • Syria can help itself by quickly choosing a model for transitional justice that is consistent with its national culture and that meets the standards expected of such efforts with respect to due process and transparency. Such an effort may facilitate national healing and reconstruction and allow warring parties to find common ground. If delayed, transitional justice may be irreparably supplanted by the wholly destructive desire for private or communal vengeance.

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