Venue: MBI Al Jaber Seminar Room, London Middle East Institute (LMEI) at SOAS, 21 Russell Square, London WC1B 5EA
** Please note that seating is very limited (max 40 seats) and is on a first-come first-serve basis. **
Justice Delayed, Justice Redeemed? Transitional Justice in the Arab Region
Noha Aboueldahab (Brookings Doha Center)
Since the Arab uprisings, there has been a dramatic surge in the pursuit of transitional justice measures, particularly criminal prosecutions. Egypt put Mubarak and many other high-level government officials on trial. Tunisia tried Ben Ali as well as several other regime members. The International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants for five Gaddafi regime officials in Libya. Yemen granted immunity from prosecution for former president Ali Abdallah Saleh in return for his stepping down from power. Syrians have been actively collecting evidence and filing criminal cases in several European countries against perpetrators in the war in Syria.
Noha Aboueldahab’s new book, Transitional Justice and the Prosecution of Political Leaders in the Arab Region: A comparative study of Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Yemen (Hart, 2017) argues that the Arab region presents the strongest challenge yet to the conventional understanding of transitional justice. This predominant understanding of transitional justice assumes that a legacy of atrocities, oppression and human rights violations can only begin to be addressed when a society has transitioned from violent, authoritarian rule to liberal democratic rule.
But the Arab uprisings have provoked the exact opposite: resurgent authoritarianism and ongoing conflict. To what extent can we speak of a ‘transition’ in the aftermath of the Arab uprisings? How can transitional justice adequately reckon with the past in such ambiguous transitions? Why has there been a tendency to focus on crimes committed since the 2010/2011 Arab uprisings and not the decades of atrocities that preceded them? Should justice be delayed until adequate political and judicial institutions are in place?
Read more: https://www.soas.ac.uk/lmei/events/17jan2018-justice-delayed-justice-redeemed-transitional-justice-in-the-arab-region.html
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