[TimorLesteStudies] ANU Seminar: Justice is Yet to Come: Rethinking the Dynamics of Transitional Justice in East Timor

Bu Wilson bu.wilson at anu.edu.au
Mon May 23 11:22:21 EST 2011

Justice is Yet to Come: Rethinking the Dynamics of Transitional Justice in East Timor

Lia Kent

11:00am - 12:30pm
02 Jun
Hedley Bull lecture theatre 2, Australian National University


Transitional  justice mechanisms - including  trials and truth commissions - have  become firmly entrenched as part of the United Nations 'tool-kit' for  successful post-conflict recovery, promoted as a means of assisting both  individuals and societies to 'come to terms' with complex legacies of  violence. This presentation unsettles these assumptions by charting the  interplay between international transitional justice narratives promoted  by the United Nations, national narratives of justice and  nation-building promoted by East Timor's political elite, and local  narratives of injustice promoted by East Timorese survivors. Drawing on  fieldwork conducted in East Timor in 2007 and 2008, I argue that the  UN-sponsored transitional justice process has been unable to fully meet  local expectations of justice, which are historically and culturally  situated. Rather, it has contributed to an ongoing, locally grounded,  conversation about how best to 'deal with the past'. The dynamic nature  of these developments suggests that transitional justice might best be  understood as a continuing and productive interaction between  international, national and local actors.
Lia Kent is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the State,  Society and Governance in Melanesia Program at the Australian National  University. She has worked in, and researched on, East Timor since 2000.   Lia completed her PhD thesis, entitled 'Justica Seidauk Mai (Justice  is yet to come): Rethinking the Dynamics of Transitional Justice in East  Timor' at the University of Melbourne in 2010. 

Enquiries: ssgm at anu.edu.au

Dr Bu V.E. Wilson
T: Australia +61  0  407 087 086
T: Timor-Leste + 670 744 0011
E: buvewilson at gmail.com

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