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Legal decisions, affective justice, and 'moving on'?

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/01/2017
<mark>Journal</mark>Oñati Socio-Legal Series
Issue number2
Volume7
Number of pages28
Pages (from-to)337-364
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Our paper argues that a move away from the linear approach adopted in transitional justice scholarship is required to the question of ‘moving on’, or the way in which a post-dictatorial or a post-conflict regime addresses the past injustices of the predecessor regime. We consider this question in relation to two important case studies that on the surface do not seem to be connected at all: post-dictatorial Albania and post-conflict Sierra Leone. Both examples point to important factors that underpin the meanings of ‘moving on’ and of justice, when analysed though a law and aesthetics lens. It has long been established that legal scholarship that makes use of works of art aids and clarifies the points that it wants to make. We examine the power of certain art forms, namely the way in which space ‘speaks’ and the narratives found in an image in the Albanian context and the use of film to provide a deeper appreciation of the conflict in the Sierra Leonean context. Different aesthetic practices have been used as a way to respond to historical injustice and mass atrocity, also when partial justice (through the law) has been achieved. Our article argues that law’s limitations can be overcome by a turn to affective justice.