Thursday, November 4, 2010

Vandeginste: Stones Left Unturned: Law and Transitional Justice in Burundi

Stef Vandeginste (Univ. of Antwerp - Law) has published Stones Left Unturned: Law and Transitional Justice in Burundi (Intersentia 2010). Here's the abstract:

Stones Left Unturned looks at the post-colonial history of Burundi through transitional justice lenses. It describes how repeated cycles of politico-ethnic violence as well as the so-called “remedial” action undertaken in their aftermath have been inspired by the desire to maintain or obtain political power. Throughout Burundi’s negotiated transition from conflict to peace, dealing with the past has been a constant matter of attention. The book zooms in on the gap between the rhetorical commitment by domestic and international actors to establish a truth and reconciliation commission and a special tribunal and the little achievements made so far. The historical account of transitional justice in Burundi is indicative of a fundamental evolution in the conception of law and how it relates to the exercise of political authority. It reveals a growing awareness that neither the process nor the outcome of transitional justice should solely be left to the discretion of the incumbent regime, but that international and constitutional norms impose substantive and procedural barriers.

Against the background of Burundi’s obligations under international law, this volume proposes – and at the same time also critically evaluates – the use of constitutional adjudication as a way of incorporating the transitional justice process in a wider effort of promoting the rule of law in Burundi.