The Impact of Transitional Justice on the Development of the Rule of Law Dissertation

thesis or dissertation chair

fiu authors

  • Lang, Craig


  • Little is known about the effects of transitional justice on the development of the rule of law in post-conflict states. There are assumptions in the literature that the prosecution of those responsible for human rights violations or convening a truth commission will help improve the rule of law. Using a mixed-method approach, which combined statistical analysis with in-country fieldwork, this investigation found that the impact of transitional justice, particularly trials, on the development of the rule of law is minimal and not automatic. In each of the four states examined, Colombia, Peru, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo, meaningful effects from transitional justice were blocked by powerful post-conflict inhibiters, including a lack of state capacity, ethnicity and corruption. These findings indicate that prior assumptions about the relationship between transitional justice and the rule of law are overstated, and they point to the need for policymakers to simultaneously address these and other inhibiters while implementing transitional mechanisms.

publication date

  • June 19, 2017


  • post-conflict justice
  • rule of law
  • transitional justice

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)