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Supporting the Processes of Transitional Justice

Access to justice and respect for the Rule of Law, which form a fundamental objective of French cooperation, take on special importance in fragile environments, contributing to alleviating tension and feeling of insecurity, and to build an environment that is conducive to development. Transitional justice, which is part of the fight against impunity, is a process launched following mass violation of Human Rights in a State. The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs encourages its promotion in countries coming out of crisis, with a view toward preventing any re-emergence of conflict, avoiding impunity and supporting the re-establishment of a Right of Law.

Such countries must face the legacy of massive exactions, which are characterised by a strong need for justice, even as their ability to deliver justice are at their lowest point: low financial resources, weak administration, legal obstacles, the number of victims and perpetrators, the need to strike a balance between dealing with the past and going about the urgent building of the present (consolidating peace and democracy, fighting poverty, etc.).

It is for this reason that the transitional justice process is built on a broad vision of justice. It is the meeting point between legal and extra-legal action. It fulfils the four requirements: the right to the truth, the right to justice, the right to compensation and the guarantee of non-recurrence. In practice, it takes on the form of four legal tools, namely trial, investigation (in particular the “Truth Commissions”), compensation and institutional reform.

Transitional justice makes it possible to enjoy a place where dialogue and social pacification are possible. It implies strong involvement on the part of the local players, in particular women and the NGOs, during consultation and public hearings, and takes into account local specifics and traditional regulation mechanisms.



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