Using restorative justice to rethink the temporality of transition

Marit de Haan will present the paper written alongside Prof. Tine Destrooper titled  “Using Restorative Justice to Rethink the Temporality of Transition” at the Virtual Symposium: Restorative Justice over Distance organized by the European Forum for Restorative Justice.

This presentation proposes an alternative framework to think about temporalities in transition, building on insights from the field of restorative justice.

Some of the most paradigmatic cases of ‘finished’ transitional justice processes today seem to raise questions on whether transitions can be understood as delimited in time. Chile is one such case. Considering the expressed needs of victims of human rights violations committed during the military dictatorship (1973-1990) and the demands of protesters today suggests that, indeed, the past continues to bear upon the present and the transition is far from ‘over’. In this presentation, examples from the case of Chile are used to illustrate some of the complex temporal dynamics of transition and demonstrate what a different temporal lens could mean for such cases of un/finished transition.

Such questions about time and ‘temporality’, conceptualized as the lived experience of time and duration, are not new to the field of transitional justice. Assumptions of linear progress and clean break with the past that long characterized transitional justice interventions have increasingly been problematized in transitional justice scholarship and practice. Scholars have argued that a more complex understanding of temporalities is needed that better accommodates the temporal messiness and complexity of transition. Existing critiques, however, have not yet resulted in a new conceptual framework for thinking about transitional temporalities. In the paper that is presented during this presentation, we argue that restorative justice is a useful starting point to develop such a temporal framework because of its actor-oriented, flexible and interactive nature and proximity to the field of transitional justice. Our proposed framework foregrounds longer timelines (ongoingness), different timelines for different individuals (multilayeredness), and cyclical, non-linear dynamics (multidirectionality) to better reflect victims’ lived experiences and reality on the ground.


Date & Time

June 22, 2021

10:00 - 12:00


Organized by European Forum for Restorative Justice