The justice balance: When transitional justice improves human rights and democracy

Tricia D. Olsen, Leigh A Payne, Andrew G. Reiter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Evidence from the Transitional Justice Data Base reveals which transitional justice mechanisms and combinations of mechanisms positively or negatively affect human rights and democracy. This article demonstrates that specific combinations of mechanisms-trials and amnesties; and trials, amnesties, and truth commissions-generate improvements in those two political goals. The findings support a justice balance approach to transitional justice: trials provide accountability and amnesties provide stability, advancing democracy and respect for human rights. The project further illustrates that, all else being equal, truth commissions alone have a negative impact on the two political objectives but contribute positively when combined with trials and amnesty. 1007

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)980-1007
Number of pages28
JournalHuman Rights Quarterly
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2010


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