Transitional justice in Northern Uganda: the case of the Trust Fund for Victims
Nawar, Alexander Shereef
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Recent debates on transitional justice have concerned whether the field responds to the needs of victims who have suffered serious crimes. At the global level, the International Criminal Court (ICC) serves as the most visible institution of transitional justice and is most famous for its prosecutions of war criminals. Critics of the Court question its relevance to victims and allege that it embodies a Western form of justice, prioritizing retribution over restoration of victims' lives and societies. Often overlooked, however, is the Court's sister organization, the Trust Fund For Victims (TFV). Also established by the Rome Statute, the TFV is mandated to deliver court-ordered reparations to victims as well as to provide assistance to those affected by crimes under ICC jurisdiction. This assistance mandate creates a novel opportunity to reach a wide scope of affected individuals and to bring international justice directly to those who need it most. This thesis reviews research on transitional justice and employs the Trust Fund as a case study of localizing transitional justice through reparative assistance. This study concludes that the reparative assistance, when designed to respond to victims' needs, has material and symbolic significance to victims that meet the goals of transitional justice.