Between Principle and Pragmatism in Transitional Justice South Africa’s TRC and Peace Building

"This paper aims at conceptualising the role of transitional justice in peace building by focusing on South Africa’s TRC. It argues that building sustainable peace in societies that have suffered protracted conflict or human rights abuse calls not only for short-term measures that aim to normalise relations but also for longterm societal transformation to bring about improvements in people’s way of life and their basic human needs. The report places transitional justice and particularly reconciliation within the broader matrix of building sustainable peace where societies have suffered protracted conflict and human rights abuses. The recurring theme of the report is that transitional justice, by turning the spotlight of investigation on issues of justice, reparations, truth seeking and institutional reform,contributes to the development of a rich framework within which to position peace-building efforts."