Peace, Unity, and Justice for All: Problems and Prospects of Transitional Justice in a Reunified Korea
There are multiple interpretations of transitional justice, but two of the definitions appear to be more common than others. Transitional justice may be viewed as a response to systematic or widespread violations of human rights. Transitional justice seeks recognition for victims and promotion of possibilities for peace, reconciliation, and democracy. Transitional justice is not a special form of justice but justice adapted to societies transforming themselves after a period of pervasive human rights abuses. In some cases, these transformations happen suddenly; in other cases, the transformation may span decades.1 The notion of transitional justice may also be seen as encompassing the full range of processes and mechanisms associated with a society’s attempts to come to terms with a legacy of large-scale egregious past abuses, to ensure accountability, to serve justice, and to achieve reconciliation. These may include both judicial and nonjudicial mechanisms, with or without various levels of international involvement and individual prosecutions, reparations, truth-seeking, institutional reform, vetting, and dismissals, or a combination thereof.2 In the case of a reunified Korea, transitional justice aiming to overcome the legacy of decades of severe human rights violations in North Korea would ultimately seek to achieve lasting peace, national unity and justice for all citizens.
KeywordsKorean Peninsula Security Council International Criminal Court State Security Department Transitional Justice
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