Transitional Justice and Human Rights

Dov Jacobs & Luke Moffett, Research handbook on Transitional Justice (Edward Elgar, 2016)

47 Pages Posted: 23 Mar 2016

See all articles by Frederic Megret

Frederic Megret

McGill University - Faculty of Law

Raphael Vagliano

McGill University

Date Written: March 22, 2016


In this paper, a longer and unedited version of a chapter eventually to be published as part of the Research handbook on Transitional Justice, we present a succinct overview of how international human rights law has shaped the field of transitional justice. We survey human rights bodies’ treatment of the primary areas to be adjudicated in transitional contexts: amnesties, retroactive application of criminal measures, reparations, restitution of property, purges and vetting procedures, and power-sharing frameworks in constitutions. In general, human rights have served as both an impetus for undertaking transitional processes, as well as a constraint on legitimate judicial and extrajudicial measures available to post-transition governments. However, the impact of human rights on the manifold dilemmas in transitional justice has been uneven, with human rights bodies willing to play a more active role in certain areas than others.

Suggested Citation

Mégret, Frédéric and Vagliano, Raphael, Transitional Justice and Human Rights (March 22, 2016). Dov Jacobs & Luke Moffett, Research handbook on Transitional Justice (Edward Elgar, 2016). Available at SSRN: or

Frédéric Mégret (Contact Author)

McGill University - Faculty of Law ( email )

3644 Peel Street
Montreal H3A 1W9, Quebec

Raphael Vagliano

McGill University ( email )

1001 Sherbrooke St. W
Montreal, Quebec H3A 1G5

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