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Local evaluations of justice through truth telling in Sierra Leone: Postwar needs and transitional justice

Millar, Gearoid
June 4, 2015

Source: (2011) Hum Rights Rev 12:515-535

This article presents findings from a qualitative case study of the Truth
and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in rural Sierra Leone. It adds to the sparse
literature directly evaluating local experiences of transitional justice mechanisms. It
investigates the conceptual foundations of retributive and restorative approaches to
postwar justice, and describes the emerging alternative argument demanding
attention be paid to economic, cultural, and social rights in such transitional
situations. The article describes how justice is defined in Makeni, a town in Northern
Sierra Leone, and shows that the TRC’s restorative approach was unable to generate
a sense of postwar justice, and was, to many, experienced as a provocation. The
conclusions support an alternative distributive conception of justice and show that
local conception of rights, experiences of infringement and needs for redress,
demand social, cultural, and economic considerations be taken seriously in
transitional justice cases.


AbstractDiscovering TruthPost-Conflict Reconciliation
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