EEAS Mediation Support Project Factsheet: Transitional Justice in the context of Peace Mediation
Mediation efforts often take place in contexts where the conflicting parties have violated international human rights or humanitarian law and where justice issues arise. Transitional justice is a multidimensional long-term undertaking, defined by the EU Council document ‘Transitional Justice and the ESDP’ as “a framework for confronting past abuse as a component of a major political transformation – from war to peace or from authoritarian rule to democracy” (Council of the EU, 2006). This undertaking may consist of judicial and non-judicial mechanisms focusing on accountability for past abuses as well as the establishment of a sustainable, just and peaceful future. The EU is strongly committed to the principles of international justice, human rights and humanitarian law, the International Criminal Court (ICC) as well as to long-term peace building.
The EU should look for entry points to ensure that 1) transitional justice issues and the respect for international law are adequately addressed in the processes of mediation and dialogue for peace and 2) mediation and dialogue accompanies the implementation of justice measures. For example, the EU should consider which role it can play most effectively with regards to mediation and transitional justice. If the strong normative position of the EU or the support to the ICC would compromise direct engagement as mediator at a higher level, other venues of mediation and dialogue support, such as leveraging and supporting third party or grassroots-level mediation, should be sought. Coordination and coherence between different EU instruments as well as the financial and political support for mediation and dialogue measures is crucial for success and should be ensured well beyond actual peace negotiations.