Transition without Justice

Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade and

Faculty of Media and Communications, Singidunum University organize the conference

“Transition without Justice?”

Belgrade and Novi Sad, 22-23 September 2016

Transitional justice has established itself as a relatively puzzling and comprehensive problem in the modern theories of justice. Its range has expanded from the justice meted out for war crimes and other crimes committed in situations of state disintegration or transformation, marked by institutional crises, to any kind of institutional justice which arises from changing social, political, ideological and value circumstances and assumptions. Thus the scope of the concept of transitional justice is influenced by the breath of understanding of ‘transition’.

This conference is triggered by the publication, in 2015, of the book authored by Klaus Bachmann and Aleksandar Fatic, The UN International Criminal Tribunals: Transition without Justice? (Routledge, 2015). The book proposes, among other ideas, the controversial thesis that transitional justice is in fact more about achieving the goals of political transition than about fulfilling the demands of moral and legal justice per se. Thus to assess transitional justice, and especially the international tribunals, fairly and historically correctly, one must first discern which specific political goals of social and institutional transition are implicit in the mission of these tribunals.While one session at the conference will focus on the book (contributors to this session are welcome to submit their abstracts), the conference as a whole will encompass a broad array of contexts for transitional justice and contributors are especially encouraged to address the following topics:

  1. To what extent does transitional justice lead to stable institutional justice after state conflict or ethnic strife?
  2. What kind of mechanisms of transitional justice are the most conducive to peace?
  3. The relationship between transitional justice and alternative mechanisms of reconciliation and peace-making.
  4. Transitional justice and restorative justice
  5. Social transformations/transitions and the evolution of mechanisms of justice
  6. The moral philosophy behind transitional justice: deontic, consequentialist, virtue-ethics and other methodological considerations.
  7. The goals and price of democratization.
  8. Modern transitions: Is the EU in transition and to what extent can justice issues in the EU be considered ‘transitional justice?
  9. Justice in international relations: moral, legal, political or something else?
  10. Does international law belong to the realm of transitional justice when the world changes? How should it be handled? What are the most prodigious specific problems in this context?
  11. State violence as a threat to democracy, and state violence as a means of democratization.
  12. Legal regulation, proliferation of legislation and the changing conceptions of social justice.

Download draft programme here.

The conference is open for the public.