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  • Cited by 21
  • Marcos Zunino, British Institute of International and Comparative Law
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
March 2019
Print publication year:
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Book description

Why are certain responses to past human rights violations considered instances of transitional justice while others are disregarded? This study interrogates the history of the discourse and practice of the field to answer that question. Zunino argues that a number of characteristics inherited as transitional justice emerged as a discourse in the 1980s and 1990s have shaped which practices of the present and the past are now regarded as valid responses to past human rights violations. He traces these influential characteristics from Argentina's transition to democracy in 1983, the end of communism in Eastern Europe, the development of international criminal justice, and the South African truth commission of 1995. Through an analysis of the post-World War II period, the decolonisation process and the Cold War, Zunino identifies a series of episodes and mechanisms omitted from the history of transitional justice because they did not conform to its accepted characteristics.


'In Justice Framed, Marcos Zunino tracks the emergence of a ‘right’ way to transcend massive human rights abuses. This way involves technical legalism, sympathy for capitalism, and the centrality of the state. Transitions that lack these elements become overlooked and forgotten: written off as populist and political. Zunino brilliantly challenges this willful myopia. He renders invisibles visible and enlivens the historical record. Justice Framed is an emancipatory book - a must read - that liberates transitional justice from the straitjacket of dogma and peer pressure.'

Mark Drumbl - Director of the Transnational Law Institute, Washington and Lee University, Virginia

‘Zunino’s careful and sophisticated genealogy of transitional justice is a major achievement with revolutionary implications. From its identification of the Argentine template in the origins of the field to its thrilling coverage of the ‘prefabricated history’ for transitional justice retroactively located in the Nuremberg trials, Justice Framed should force a reckoning with the selective politics of recent causes.'

Samuel Moyn - Henry R. Luce Professor of Jurisprudence, Yale Law School, Yale University, Connecticut

'Why is transitional justice what we think it is? In powerfully explaining how transitional justice came to be how we know it today, Marcos Zunino also reveals what it could have been and could become. With this book, transitional justice has a new classic.'

Sarah Nouwen - Senior Lecturer in Law and Co-Deputy Director of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, University of Cambridge

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