Leigh Payne asks whether transitional justice works
As part of its ongoing Transitional Justice Lecture series, the CHRGJ welcomed Leigh Payne, professor at Oxford University (St. Anthony's College) and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, on February 12. She discussed the challenges of measuring and assessing the impacts of truth commissions, prosecutions, reparations, amnesties and other mechanisms on societies in transition. Over the past few years, Payne has been analyzing aggregate data on the achievements and limitations of transitional justice in achieving its goals of advancing democracy and the rule of law, particularly through improvements in human rights. Payne presented some of the key issues and surprising results of her research, challenging assumptions and broadening the dialogue on what mechanisms appear to facilitate or harm a country’s chances at recovering from periods of mass atrocity or prolonged repression.