Locating the Logic of Transitional Justice in Liberal Democracies: Native Title in Australia
41 Pages Posted: 29 Jul 2016
Date Written: July 27, 2016
Transitional justice comprises the full range of processes and mechanisms associated with a society’s attempts to come to terms with a legacy of large-scale past abuses, in order to ensure accountability, serve justice and achieve reconciliation. Nothing in this definition limits transitional justice to post-conflict or post-authoritarian states. Yet, practically, the field is wedded to the paradigmatic transition – a liberal democratic state rising from the ashes of a collapsed authoritarian regime. In this paper I argue that the logic of transitional justice is relevant and applicable to liberal democracies founded on legacies of historic injustice. Analysing land reform in Australia under this lens, suggests cogent reasons why reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians appears to be stalling.
Keywords: Transitional Justice, Indigenous Peoples, Native Title, Reconciliation
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