Relative Justice?: A study of different spheres of justice in post-conflict situations in Africa - the case of Uganda
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Since the end of the cold war there has been a significant change in the nature of violent conflicts. Today most armed conflicts in the world are internal and start as internal struggles within a state. Because of the nature of the conflict former enemies in so called post-conflict situations then find themselves facing the challenge of rebuilding trust and respect after a long history of violence in order to be able to find a way to build a peaceful future together. One of the great challenges in these post-conflict contexts is the pursuit of justice with the aim of giving the victims redress after being subjected to severe violations so that their human dignity is restored. However, the meaning of “justice” varies and corrective justice can be retributive with a focus on prosecution and punishment of the offender or it can be restorative with the rebuilding of relationships and social harmony. In the Western world the tendency is to look at justice in a retributive dimension and the international community has through the establishment of international criminal courts and tribunals tried to enforce this approach to justice as a universal one. Nevertheless, some post-conflict societies have for different reasons turned their attention to restorative approaches to justice in forms of local and informal justice mechanisms. These two approaches to justice are investigated and analyzed in this study in order to find out in what way both of these methods can be understood to respect the Human Rights. In order to answer the research questions a theoretical analysis is combined with the empirical material presented in the case study of Uganda. The study thereafter can conclude that there are both weaknesses and strengths in both of the justice approaches and the methods that are used to promote them. The main challenge arises from the lack of empirical investigation among the victims themselves in order to find out in what way the people who have been subjected to Human Rights abuses understand justice and in what way they will prefer to get redress.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. , 72 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-118833OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-118833DiVA: diva2:840417