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What is Transitional Justice?

Transitional justice refers to a relatively new area of international law practice focused on societal transformation and recovery after periods of civil and ethnic strife, violent conflict, and other situations of widespread human rights violations and the break-down of the rule of law. It entails the use of truth commissions, reparation programs, criminal trials where possible, institutional reform and other mechanisms aimed at providing a holistic approach to justice.

In 2020, the Center for International Law and Policy launched a new project to support the growing TJ movement in the U.S through a number of initiatives.


Transitional Justice Initiatives

Transitional Justice in the USA Mapping Project

The Transitional Justice (TJ) in the USA mapping project was started in Fall 2020 following the murder of George Floyd, which sparked a national movement and calls for justice. The project tracks the development of initiatives occurring in towns, cities, states and even at the level of the federal government to create TJ mechanisms to address current and historical racial injustices. These initiatives include truth commissions, reparation programs, institutional reform measures, and criminal trials intended to serve redress affected individuals and communities.

The project entails desktop research using a comprehensive mapping tools to create a database of initiatives. As of January 2022, the project has tracked more than forty-five TJ initiatives in the USA.

The aims of the project include:

  • Generating reports that offer meta-analysis of experiences and trends as well as specific case study presentations
  • Building and strengthening networks of practitioners through workshops, one-on-one consulting, and other methods
  • Connecting experienced TJ advocates and academics with local initiatives to offer support
  • Supporting the Transitional Justice in the USA Speakers Series

In November 2021, The Bridging Divides Initiative (BDI) at Princeton invited the TJ in the USA Mapping project to collaborate in supporting the Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) coalition with an online visual of the mapping project. View the Map


Transitional Justice in the USA Speakers Series

New England Law’s Center for International Law and Policy has partnered with dozens of institutions and groups across the country to host the Transition Justice in the USA Speakers Series. The ongoing multi-part series aims to raise national awareness of TJ initiatives being developed now on a regular basis across the country in order to address racial injustice.

Catch up on past panels, or sign-up to attend the next part: Explore the Series


Transitional Justice Listserv

To efficiently and effectively keep interested parties in the loop on transitional justice and related topics, CILP hosts an email distribution list (listserv). Subscribers to the listserv become part of a network where they can send and receive news on the latest transitional justice movements, initiatives, and more. Members also receive weekly news summaries of current events concerning TJ initiatives around the country.

To be added to the listserv, please refer to the contact information below.


Get Involved

To learn more about any of New England Law’s transitional justice projects or initiatives, or to get added to the transitional justice listserv, please contact:

Lisa Laplante