This briefing note represents a summary of the emerging Transformative Justice agenda. The note is a brief summary of the critique of transitional justice from which the agenda emerges, and an exploration of a range of tools that can create a new, more transformative, practice.
Transformative justice is understood as transformative change that emphasises local agency and resources, the prioritization of process rather than pre-conceived outcomes, and the challenging of unequal and intersecting power relationships and structures of exclusion at both local and global levels
While transformative justice does not seek to completely dismiss or replace transitional justice, it does seek to radically reform its politics, locus and priorities. Transformative justice entails a shift in focus from the legal to the social and political, and from the state and institutions to communities and everyday concerns. Transformative justice is not the result of a top-down imposition of external legal frameworks or institutional templates, but of a more bottom-up understanding and analysis of the lives and needs of populations. The note articulates this understanding but also the tentative nature of the current definition, asking questions as to how Transformative Justice in transition can be operationalised in practice.