Based on its internationally recognised reframing of transitional justice
(TJ) theory and practice, TJI demonstrates singular influence on the tone,
language, framing and outcomes of key debates, policies and advocacy in
Northern Ireland (NI) since 2003. TJI research has informed political
debate and influenced official recommendations on institutions to address
the legacy of the conflict; shaped the policy positions and enhanced the
capacity of local non- governmental organisations (NGOs); shared in the
production of cultural knowledge in a unique law-led artistic
collaboration; raised public awareness of the intergenerational aspects of
the conflict's legacy; and empowered marginalised individuals. TJI's
critiques of local TJ approaches and our development of the TJ Toolkit
have demonstrable global applicability. The impact has been primarily
regional, with national and international dimensions.
Transitional Justice Institute's (TJI) work on gender, conflict and
transition demonstrates remarkable international impact, showing effects
and benefits to institutional norms and policies, civil society
positioning and legal enforcement at the state level. Knowledge transfer
provided by TJI research has influenced policy and legal change in the
regulation of gender norms in conflict and post-conflict settings. Debates
triggered by TJI scholarly outputs have shaped policy agendas and critical
responses to them. The impact is regional, national and international.
New democracies face the critical challenge of dealing with past abuses
of human rights. Professor
Leigh Payne`s empirical research on transitional justice concludes that
while no single mechanism
successfully achieves the strengthening of democracy, human rights, and
peace, combinations of
prosecutions and amnesties (with or without `truth commissions') increase
the likelihood of
improved democracy and human rights measures. These findings have not only
shaped the debate
over transitional justice; they have played a key role in constructing and
endorsing the policy
decisions made by a range of political actors: victims` groups, NGOs,
politicians, judges, and prosecutors. They have shaped policy debate,
laws, practices, demands,
and methodological approaches to transitional justice in Brazil and
Colombia; and had a direct and
specific impact on policies regarding the violent past in Uruguay.
The Build the Truce (BTT) project, undertaken at the University
of Manchester (UoM), considers the challenges involved in establishing and
maintaining a truce during times of conflict. Findings from the research
provided the basis for two innovative exhibitions, co-funded by the
Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS). First, an interactive
multimedia display at the Imperial War Museum London (IWML), included as
an official part of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad. Second, a Big Picture
Show (BPS); part of the rolling programme at the Imperial War Museum
North (IWMN). Together these exhibitions, associated public engagement
activities and workshops, have both challenged and altered public
perceptions of truce, as well as offering a valuable example of how
complex and controversial topics can be presented within a museum setting.
A key challenge for Western policy makers and legal practitioners in
formulating justice and security responses to mass atrocity in the African
Great Lakes region is to understand the political, social and cultural
causes of conflict, and the manner in which past conflicts can be resolved
and potential future conflicts prevented. Phil Clark's research sheds
much-needed light on these issues, and assesses the nature and impact of
both local and international transitional justice responses. This research
has prompted his active engagement with international judicial processes
and debates on aid policy, encouraging international actors to be more
aware of local dynamics around conflict and justice, with the wider aim of
maintaining the vulnerable stability of post-conflict nations in Africa.
The research has had impact through promoting bottom-up, community-based
approaches to truth
recovery as part of post-conflict transition and human rights advocacy.
This has been most
evident, in reach and significance, at local and regional levels within
Northern Ireland as a region
with unique circumstances (emerging post-1998 from armed conflict) and by
attitudes and activities of community groups, human rights/victims'
Organisations (NGOs) and lawyers involved in shaping truth recovery public
policy. The work has
had impact on governmental and statutory bodies and initiatives dealing
with post-conflict victims'
concerns and wider national and international civil society debates on
truth recovery, human rights
and the effects of counter-terror policing policies and practices in
marginalised ethnic minority
This case study demonstrates how psychological and political science
research has been utilised to inform policy and practice responses to
violence and conflict. Work with the Forgiveness Project has utilised
social-psychological research to develop the Forgiveness Toolbox. This is
designed to assist key stakeholders, victims, perpetrators and civil
society organisations in dealing with the psychological consequences of
violence and conflict. The political consequences of violence and conflict
were addressed, for example, through our collaboration with the Friedrich
Ebert Stiftung in Bosnia, which resulted in new material for their work on
state and welfare reform.
Professor Patricia Lundy's research, which began in 2005 and continues today, has:
1) Directly led to the Minister of Justice commissioning HM Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC)
to investigate the Police Service of Northern Ireland's Historical Enquiries Team (PSNI/HET).
2) Directly led to the Northern Ireland Policing Board (NIPB) holding the PSNI to account; and a
reassessment of the Board's own procedures.
3) Directly led to the resignation of HET's Director and Deputy Director, suspension of all military
case-reviews, complete overhaul of HET, and policy changes in how PSNI/HET investigates
4) Directly led to Committee of Ministers holding the UK government to account with regards to
fulfilment of its obligations deriving from European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) judgements
and HET Article-2 compliance.
5) Directly led to reopening inquests, legal proceedings and informing stakeholders.
6) Directly created critical public debate about the future of the HET and policy more generally
around addressing the legacy of NI conflict.
Professor Richard Caplan's research explores the challenges that arise in
the context of post- conflict peace- and state-building. His work on exit
strategies and peace consolidation led the UN Peacebuilding Support Office
(PBSO) to ask him to examine specific challenges to designing and
implementing transitional strategies in peace operations, and to suggest
how these challenges could be met more effectively. This work initiated a
process within the UN to introduce more rigorous benchmarking practices
for peacebuilding, laid the foundations for the development of a common UN
methodology for measuring peace consolidation and played an instrumental
role in the production of a United Nations handbook on peace consolidation
monitoring, entitled Monitoring Peace Consolidation - United Nations
Practitioners' Guide to Benchmarking (United Nations, 2010). The
handbook is being used to support practitioners engaged in peacebuilding
across the UN system.
The primary impact of this research has been the adoption and
implementation of its
recommendations at both field and policy levels, by a wide range of
donor institutions, non-governmental
organisations and local authorities working on peacebuilding and security
challenges. At field level, the research has led to an observable change
improvement in operations, primarily through engaging with major service
providers such as the
International Organisation for Migration (IOM). At policy level, the
research has informed donors
and other policymakers on matters related to security sector
reconstruction — most notably the
Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT).
Beneficiaries: The case study outlines these strands of work with
the IOM and DFAIT, which have
both had an impact in Afghanistan and elsewhere. It also provides detail
of work specific to the
Philippines, which informed the approach of the Philippines' Office of the
Presidential Adviser on
the Peace Process (OPAPP) and a number of local and international NGOs,
towards local security
provision and post-conflict reconstruction in Mindanao.