Transitional Justice is primarily concerned with facilitating movement from conflict to peace. Increasingly, however, both conflict and processes of resolution are being understood as fluid with dynamics that change over time. Consequently processes of conflict prevention, peace-making and peace-building are now recognised as closely related. TJI aims to make a focused contribution to these broader debates by exploring transition, both in the Northern Ireland context and internationally. Under this theme TJI asserts that greater understanding and acknowledgement of the relationship between law and the causes of conflict are necessary not just to transition, but also to preventing earlier conflict escalation. Also, ‘transitional mechanisms’ exhibited in societies emerging from protracted conflicts can have a constructive role if promoted when conflict is at an emergent stage.
Research in this area applies a multidisciplinary approach to the issue of transition. This strand of TJI work uses both doctrinal and socio-legal approaches. The focus of the work includes exploration of the local situation in Northern Ireland and providing models of application and analysis to other conflict and transition situations, if applicable. Similarly, lessons from other conflict and transitional situations globally help to inform the debate on the Northern Ireland transition. This form of global/local interchange has developed new understandings of conflicts and transitions, and serves to inform debate in the area.
Issues addressed under this research theme are: