Transformative Transitional Justice

“Transformative Transitional Justice: How Old Tools Could Open New Avenues for Climate Justice,” authored by Jasmina Brankovic and Augustine Njamnshi and posted by Mark Kersten on May 28, 2024, argues that transitional justice mechanisms can be adapted to advance climate justice. Here are the main points:

  1. Background and Context:
    • Jasmina Brankovic and Augustine Njamnshi, experts in transitional justice and climate justice respectively, propose using transitional justice tools to address climate harms.
    • The global climate crisis has led to unprecedented heat records, with April 2024 being the eleventh consecutive month of record-breaking temperatures, exceeding the 1.5°C threshold set by the Paris Agreement.
  2. Challenges in Current Climate Negotiations:
    • International climate negotiations are stalling, and existing efforts on mitigation, adaptation, and loss and damage are insufficient to address the severe impacts of climate change.
  3. Potential of Transitional Justice Tools:
    • Transitional justice mechanisms such as prosecutions, truth commissions, reparations, and institutional reforms can be adapted to address climate-related harms.
    • These tools have been effective in post-conflict settings to deal with past injustices and can be repurposed to foster accountability and reparation for climate harms.
  4. Transformative Approaches:
    • A transformative approach to transitional justice involves contextualized, bottom-up measures that address historical and ongoing injustices.
    • Such approaches can help tackle the unequal global and local impacts of climate change, promoting climate justice by challenging existing power dynamics and fostering inclusive and participatory processes.
  5. Specific Mechanisms Proposed:
    • Prosecutions: Holding individuals accountable for actions that significantly worsen climate harms, similar to the EU’s recent criminalization of actions comparable to ecocide.
    • Truth Commissions: Establishing commissions to document responsibilities for climate harms and provide a platform for affected communities.
    • Reparations: Offering compensation and material redress to individuals and communities impacted by climate change.
    • Institutional Reforms: Creating new or improved bodies to better manage climate impacts and enhance transparency in climate financing.
  6. Case Examples and Influence:
    • The article cites examples like the South African apartheid survivors’ movement Khulumani and the Latin American group HIJOS to illustrate how community-driven transitional justice measures can promote broader advocacy and awareness.
  7. Integration with Climate Justice:
    • The authors argue that the intersectional and intergenerational nature of climate harms requires a holistic approach that includes local knowledge and resources.
    • They advocate for participatory, bottom-up processes led by those most affected by climate change, aligning with the goals of climate justice.
  8. Practical Application:
    • Suggested measures include community-based truth commissions, memorialization initiatives, and high-quality documentation to raise awareness and promote engagement at all levels.

In summary, the article highlights the potential of transitional justice mechanisms to address the complex and unequal impacts of climate change, proposing a transformative approach that emphasizes local agency, inclusivity, and systemic change to achieve climate justice​ (Justice in Conflict)​​ (Justice in Conflict)​ get the full write up here:


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