Conference: Transitional Justice and Alternative Mechanisms for Peace

Hosted by SCEWP and the University of Johannesburg
Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Studies, South Africa
8th – 9th April, 2016

Deadline for Registration: 30th March 2016

Sponsored by the Society for Applied Philosophy

Conference schedule


Christian Barry (ANU)
Thaddeus Metz (Johannesburg)
Cara Nine (University College, Cork)
Tim Murithi (Free State)
Mia Swart (Johannesburg)
Patrick Lenta (KwaZulu-Natal)
Derk Venema (Radboud)
Jimmy Goodrich (Rutgers)
Caleb Harrison (UNC)
Diana Acosta Navas (Harvard)
Lisa Hecht (Stockholm)
Jonathan Chimakonam (Calabar)
Bernard Matolino (KwaZulu-Natal)
Rianna Oelofson (Fort Hare)

In the aftermath of conflict, states sometimes resort to methods of ‘transitional justice’ to deal with the legacy of widespread human rights abuses. Some of these measures, such as South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), are non-judicial in nature, focusing on uncovering the truth concerning atrocities and fostering reconciliation in broken communities. South Africa’s TRC is generally hailed as a success. But its critics have objected to, amongst other things, the conditions for granting amnesties, the failure of perpetrators to show remorse, and a failure to offer victims a genuine opportunity to speak about their experiences. These concerns generalize to others forms of non-judicial mechanisms for peace. More generally, transitional justice concerns, amongst other things, punishment, collective responsibility, reparations, and forgiveness. While lawyers, policy-makers, and criminologists have done a substantial amount of work on these topics, philosophers have published comparatively little. This conference will explore theoretical approaches to these issues in philosophy and political theory.