Book Review: 'Legal Institutions and Collective Memories', Edited By Susanne Karstedt
University of Cape Town (UCT) - Faculty of Law
October 11, 2010
Osgoode Hall Law Journal, Vol. 48, p. 357, 2010
Certain fundamental questions have recently surfaced in the wake of systemic brutality and extreme atrocities that constitute war crimes, crimes against humanity, and gross violations of human rights. What is the most appropriate method for a society to punish the perpetrators? How does a society pay tribute to and provide reparations for individual victims? How does a society heal the collective trauma and devastation caused by brutality and atrocities? What are the most effective steps to be taken to ensure that the past is not repeated? The role of legal institutions and legal processes and their engagement with and entanglementof individual and collective memories raise further difficult and complex questions.
These questions have become staples for advocates and scholars in the human rights community, both at the local and international level, and several impressive texts dedicated to these issues have been produced. This volume, a welcome addition to the literature, contributes comprehensive historical, sociological, and legal perspectives to this important dialogue.
Dedicated as a tribute to Maurice Halbwachs (1877-1945) and his coining of the concept of "collective memory", Legal Institutions serves to explore this notion in the wake of several experiments to address and redress war crimes, crimes against humanity, and gross violations of human rights.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 7
Keywords: human rights, restorative justice, reparations, international criminal law
JEL Classification: K14, K33, K40, K42
Date posted: October 13, 2010