Transitional Justice on the Korean Peninsula: Lessons from Cambodia

  • Frank Jannuzi
Part of the Asan-Palgrave Macmillan Series book series (APMS)


Thinking about the prospects for “transitional justice” on the Korean Peninsula necessarily involves dealing with a high degree of uncertainty. To bound that uncertainty, we must at the outset take stock of certain facts and then make some assumptions. The most compelling facts are those documented in excruciating detail by the United Nation’s Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The commission found after extensive investigation that “systematic, widespread and gross human rights violations have been and are being committed by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, its institutions and officials. In many instances, the violations of human rights found by the commission constitute crimes against humanity … The gravity, scale and nature of these violations reveal a State that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world.”1


Korean Peninsula Transitional Justice Khmer Rouge Truth Commission Korean People 
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  1. 1.
    UN Human Rights Council, Report of the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, UN Doc. A/HRC/25/63, February 7, 2014, para. 80.Google Scholar
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    Ernest May and Dick Neustadt, Thinking In Time: The Uses of History for Decision Makers (New York: Free Press, 1988).Google Scholar
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    Amnesty International, Commissioning Justice: Truth Commissions and Criminal Justice (April, 2010),–8b3a-a5f8f7858d77/pol300042010en.pdfGoogle Scholar
  4. 8.
    For an excellent, firsthand account of the establishment of several war crimes tribunals in the post—Cold War era, see David Scheffer, All the Missing Souls: A Personal History of the War Crimes Tribunals (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2012).Google Scholar
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    Samuel Huntington, The Third Wave: Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century, Vol. 4 (University of Oklahoma Press, 1993), 211.Google Scholar
  6. 15.
    United Nations, Guidance Note of the Secretary General: United Nations Approach to Transitional Justice (March, 2010), Scholar

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© Baek Buhm-Suk and Ruti G. Teitel 2015

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  • Frank Jannuzi

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