Transitional Justice and Development Aid to Fragile and Conflict-Affected States: Risks and Reforms
Chapter 12 in Justice Mosaics: How Context Shapes Transitional Justice in Fractured Societies (Roger Duthie and Paul Seils, eds., New York: ICTJ, 2017)
34 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2016 Last revised: 7 Jun 2017
Date Written: August 16, 2016
Transitional justice initiatives are expensive. As such, whether they consist of war crimes trials, truth commissions, or rule of law projects, post-conflict justice programs have to garner considerable financial resources from donors in order to succeed. Development aid is a major source of funding for transitional justice. But what determines whether development donors will invest in transitional justice, among the many kinds of programs they could support? This paper examines transitional justice as one aspect of development aid. It identifies factors that affect whether and how development donors fund transitional justice initiatives and explores the potential ramifications of recent reforms to aid for fragile and conflict-affected states.
There are many obstacles to supporting post-conflict justice programs, including the controversial nature of transitional justice, the fact that justice has traditionally been tangential to development donors’ core missions and goals, the need to cooperate with peacekeeping forces where they are exercising authority, and the inherent difficulties of working in the fragile and conflict-affected states where such programs are often needed. In spite of these difficulties, security and human welfare concerns impel donors to provide assistance to fragile and conflict-affected states, and there is a growing recognition of the importance of justice, including transitional justice, to the recovery of such states. In addition, two recent reforms have the potential to create space for more justice-oriented work by development donors. The New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States emphasizes the importance of justice and other state-building components as a prerequisite for security and economic growth, while the United Nations' Global Focal Point initiative establishes an institutional framework for joint development and peacekeeping work.
Keywords: Transitional justice, post-conflict justice, development, donor, aid, rule of law, international criminal law, capacity-building, human rights, justice, security, fragile, conflict, post-conflict, New Deal, Global Focal Point, peacekeeping, United Nations, USAID
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