Process Pluralism in Transitional/Restorative Justice - Lessons from Dispute Resolution for Cultural Variations in Goals beyond Rule of Law and Democracy Development (Argentina and Chile)

International Journal of Conflict Engagement and Resolution, Vol. 3, No. 1, 2015

UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2015-86

31 Pages Posted: 30 Oct 2015

See all articles by Carrie Menkel-Meadow

Carrie Menkel-Meadow

University of California, Irvine School of Law; Georgetown University Law Center

Date Written: October 29, 2015

Abstract

This article reviews some of the key issues in transitional justice process and institutional design, based on my research and experience working and living in several post-conflict societies, and suggests that cultural and political variations in transitional justice design, practices, and processes are necessary to accomplish plural goals. The idea of process pluralism, derived from the more general fields of conflict resolution and ‘alternative dispute resolution’ in legal contexts, is an essential part of transitional justice, where multiple processes may occur simultaneously or in sequence over time (e.g. truth and reconciliation processes, with or without amnesty, prosecutions, lustration and/or more local legal and communitarian processes), depending on both individual and collective preferences and resources. Transitional justice is itself ‘in transition’ as iterative learning has developed from assessment of different processes in different contexts (post-military dictatorships, civil wars, and international and sub-national conflicts). This article draws on examples from Argentina’s and Chile’s emergence from post-military dictatorships to describe and analyze a plurality of processes, including more formal governmental processes, but also those formed by civil society groups at sub-national levels. This article suggests that ‘democracy development’ and legalistic ‘rule of law’ goals and institutional design may not necessarily be the only desiderata in transitional justice, where more than the ‘legal’ and ‘governmental’ is at stake for more peaceful human flourishing. To use an important concept from dispute resolution, the “forum must fit the fuss”, and there are many different kinds of ‘fusses’ to be dealt with in transitional justice, at different levels of society – more than legal and governmental but also social, cultural and reparative.

Keywords: transitional justice, conflict resolution, process pluralism, cultural variation, individual and collective justice

Suggested Citation

Menkel-Meadow, Carrie J., Process Pluralism in Transitional/Restorative Justice - Lessons from Dispute Resolution for Cultural Variations in Goals beyond Rule of Law and Democracy Development (Argentina and Chile) (October 29, 2015). International Journal of Conflict Engagement and Resolution, Vol. 3, No. 1, 2015; UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2015-86. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2683501

Carrie J. Menkel-Meadow (Contact Author)

University of California, Irvine School of Law ( email )

401 E. Peltason Drive
Irvine, CA 92697-1000
United States
949-824-1987 (Phone)

Georgetown University Law Center ( email )

600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States
202-662-9379 (Phone)
202-662-9412 (Fax)

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