International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ)

Working Group on Peace and Development (FriEnt)

Insightful Quotes
"There was a break in the fear, and more space to talk,” (one female leader and relative of a victim of forced disappearance in Colombia)."
Insightful Quotes
"Initial processes in Germany were not planned or modelled, they “happened”. It was sheer luck that it worked."
Virtual Session 19

Transitional Justice and Prevention: Contributions and Challenges

This session examined the relationship between transitional justice and the prevention of human rights violations, different forms of violence and repression, and violent conflict. It discussed evidence provided by case studies conducted by the International Center for Transitional Justice, on Colombia, Morocco, Peru, the Philippines, and Sierra Leone, as well as a pilot study on Germany commissioned by FriEnt.

Main Questions
  • the contributions that transitional justice can make to prevention, focusing on individual and collective exclusion and associated grievances, root causes of injustice, and the need to facilitate long-term institutional and other types of reform;

  • the tensions and challenges faced in adopting a preventive approach, such as short-term instability, the need for inclusive processes, and the lack of implementation; and

  • the importance of context in shaping outcomes, including political and security factors and structural problems such as inequality and discrimination.

Main Theses, Thoughts and Ideas

Preventing the recurrence of injustice requires addressing common drivers of injustice such as exclusion and its associated grievances. It also has to adopt a long-term perspective on reform and change.

For TJ to promote prevention, it needs the courage and capacity to deal with the root causes of violence, meaning the social, economic, cultural, and political conditions that contributed to and facilitated human rights violations.

TJ processes could contribute much more in enhancing prevention where there are gradual and progressive changes in the socio-economic and political context that precipitated violence in the first place. Where the context does not change, gains made can be easily lost.

TJ processes can be applied in contexts of ongoing conflicts, but this reinforces two needs: to coordinate justice processes with other policies such as security, DDR, and peace building; and to apply short-, medium-, and long-term strategies linked to broader agendas, such as the Sustainable Development Goals.


Ibrahim Bangura
Transition International, Sierra Leone
read more
María Cielo Linares
International Center for Transitional Justice Colombia
read more
Prof. Dr. Jan Asmussen
Christian Albrechts Universität Kiel, Germany
read more


Natascha Zupan
Working Group on Peace and Development (FriEnt)
read more
Roger Duthie
The International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ), United States
read more

Current Topics

show more

The FriEnt Peacebuilding Forum is a series of events on current and overarching challenges and trends in peacebuilding. With the Peacebuilding Forum, we want to provide future-oriented impulses for the development of peacebuilding and strengthen the visibility and importance of the policy field in its entirety.


Arbeitsgemeinschaft Frieden
und Entwicklung (FriEnt)
c/o GIZ

Friedrich-Ebert-Allee 36
53113 Bonn

Cookies and the protection of your data
FriEnt uses cookies to improve the functionality of the website, to offer you a better website experience, and to provide social media features. By using this website, you consent to the use of cookies.

Please find detailed information on the use of cookies on this website in our Data Privacy Statement. You can adjust your cookie settings below.