Full-text resources of CEJSH and other databases are now available in the new Library of Science.
Visit https://bibliotekanauki.pl


2017 | 2 (46) | 9-21

Article title

Transitional Justice Models and Analytic Philosophy: Towards Theory


Title variants

Languages of publication



As an interdisciplinary field of scholarship, transitional justice is still in its pre-theoretical stage, focusing mainly on the case and comparative studies, supported by general considerations concerning justice in the times of transition. To entrench the field as a distinct area of studies, a theory of transitional justice needs to be formulated. The article explores the possibility of making a step towards such a theoretical basis with the use of the tools of analytical philosophy, methodology and legal theory. First, drawing on Leszek Nowak’s procedure of idealisation, three basic models of responses to a painful past are formulated. Then, distinct transitional justice values are attributed to each of the models. Finally, with the use of Jerzy Kmita’s concept of humanistic interpretation, the article seeks to conceptualize the way in which these values – among other factors, such as the need to uphold the rule of law or to preserve the stability of a democratic system – influence the choice of a model of transitional justice response. Thus, the aim of the presented models – which I described in more detail elsewhere (Krotoszyński 2017) – is to provide a sound theoretical basis for some of the fundamental claims formulated in the field of transitional justice.





Physical description


  • Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań (Poland)


  • Afri-Forum and Another v Malema and Others, South Africa Equality Court, no. 20968/2010, judgement of 12 September 2011.
  • Andrieu, K. (2011). “An Unfinished Business: Transitional Justice and Democratization in Post-Soviet Russia”. The International Journal of Transitional Justice, 5 (2), 198–220.
  • Bois-Predain, du, A. (2007). Transitional Amnesty in South Africa. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Buckley-Zistel, S., Koloma Beck, T., Braun, Ch. & Mieth, F. (2014). Transitional Justice Theories. Oxon: Routledge.
  • Cabrera, R. (1998). "Should we remember? Recovering historical memory in Guatemala". In: Hamber B. (ed.), Past Imperfect: Dealing with the Past in Northern Ireland and South Africa, 25-30. Derry-Londonderry: INCORE.
  • CEH (La Comisión para el Esclarecimiento Histórico) (1999). Guatemala, Memory of Silence, Tz'inil na 'tab'al. Report of the Commission for Historical Clarification, conclusions and recommendations. Retrived from: https://www.aaas.org/sites/default/files/migrate/uploads/mos_en.pdf.
  • Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (1996). Resolution 1096 (1996) on measures to dismantle the heritage of former communist totalitarian systems, CoE Doc. 1096 (27 June 1996).
  • Czarnota, A. (2007). "The Politics of the Lustration Law in Poland, 1989-2006". In: Mayer-Rieckh, A. & de Greiff, P. (eds.), Justice as Prevention: Vetting Public Employees in Transitional Societies, 222-258. New York: Social Science Research Council.
  • Czarnota, A. (2013). "On the Beauty of Confusions or Transitional Justice, and Rule of Law". Law of Ukraine: Legal Journal, 4, 47-53.
  • Dyzenhaus, D. (1998). Judging the Judges, Judging Ourselves. Truth, Reconciliation and the Apartheid Legal Order. Oxford: Hart Publishing.
  • Elster, J. (2004). Closing the Books: Transitional Justice in Historical Perspective. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Eser, A., Arnold, J., & Kreicker, H. (2001). Criminal law in reaction to state crime: comparative insights into transitional processes; a project report. Freiburg: Max-Planck-Institut für ausländisches und internationales Strafrecht. Retrieved from: http://www.freidok.uni-freiburg.de/volltexte/6349/.
  • Garrett, S. A. (2000). Models of Transitional Justice - A Comparative Analysis. Report submitted to the Conference International Studies Association 40 Annual Convention, Los Angeles (14-18 March 2000).
  • Greiff, de, P. (2012). "Theorizing Transitional Justice". In: Williams, M. S., Nagy, R., & Elster, J. (eds.), Transitional Justice, 31-77. New York–London: NYU Press.
  • Hansen, T. O. (2011). "Transitional Justice: Toward a Differentiated Theory". Oregon Review of International Law, 13, 1-54.
  • Hayner, P. B. (2002). Unspeakable Truths: Facing the Challenge of Truth Commissions. New York-London: Routledge.
  • Huntington, S. (1993). The Third Wave: Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.
  • Kitschelt, H., Mansfeldova, Z., Markowski, R. & Tóka, G. (1999). Post-Communist Party Systems: Competition, Representation, and Inter-Party Cooperation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Kmita J. & Nowak L. (1968). Studia nad teoretycznymi podstawami humanistyki. Poznań: Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu.
  • Kmita, J. & Nowak, L. (1970). "The Rationality Assumption in Human Sciences”. The Polish Sociological Bulletin, 1, 43-68.
  • Kmita, J. (1971). Z metodologicznych problemów interpretacji humanistycznej. Warszawa: Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe.
  • Kritz, N. J. (ed.) (1995). Transitional Justice: How Emerging Democracies Reckon with Former Regimes, Volume I: General Considerations. Washington: US Institute of Peace Press.
  • Krotoszyński, M. (2014). "Polish lustration and the models of transitional justice". Adam Mickiewicz University Law Review, 3, 199-211.
  • Krotoszyński, M. (2016). "The Transitional Justice Models and the Justifications of Means of Dealing with the Past". Oñati Socio-legal Series, 6 (3), 584-606.
  • Krotoszyński, M. (2017). Modele sprawiedliwości tranzycyjnej. Poznań: Wydawnictwo Naukowe UAM.
  • Lachowski, T. (2013). Prawo do prawdy podstawowym prawem człowieka? Refleksje na temat sprawiedliwości okresu przejściowego (transitional justice). Warszawa: Instytut Badań nad Stosunkami Międzynarodowymi.
  • Lachowski, T. (2014). "Sprawiedliwość czy bezkarność? Legalność amnestii w świetle prawa międzynarodowego". In: Stachowiak, G. (Ed.), Stosunki międzynarodowe: Regiony, historia, problemy, 157-169. Kraków: Koło Studentów Stosunków Międzynarodowych UJ.
  • Laplante, L. J. (2009). "Outlawing Amnesty: The Return of Criminal Justice in Transitional Justice Schemes". Virginia Journal of International Law, 49, 915-984.
  • Marszałek-Kawa, J., Piechowiak-Lamparska, J., Ratke-Majewska, A., Wawrzyński, P. (2017a). The Politics of Memory in Post-Authoritarian Transitions, Volume One - Case Studies. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
  • Marszałek-Kawa, J., Wawrzyński, P., Ratke-Majewska, A. (2017b). The Politics of Memory in Post-Authoritarian Transitions, Volume Two - Comparative Analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
  • Marszałek-Kawa, J., & Wawrzyński, P. (2016). "Remembrance, Identity Politics and Political Transitions: a Comparative Study". Polish Political Science Yearbook, 45, pp. 11–21. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15804/ppsy2016001.
  • Mazowiecki, T. (2009). "Sąd nad grubą linią". Wyborcza.pl. Retrived from: http://wyborcza.pl/magazyn/1,124059,7030199,Sad_nad_gruba_linia.html.
  • Młynarska-Sobaczewska, A. (2010). Autorytet państwa. Legitymizacyjne znaczenie prawa w państwie transformacji ustrojowej. Toruń: Towarzystwo Naukowe Organizacji i Kierownictwa "Dom Organizatora”.
  • Murphy, C. (2017). The Conceptual Foundations of Transitional Justice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Nalepa, M. (2009). "Lustration and Survival of Parliamentary Parties". Taiwan Journal of Democracy, 2 (5), 45-68.
  • Nedelsky, N. (2004). "Divergent responses to a common past: Transitional justice in the Czech Republic and Slovakia". Theory and Society, 33, 65-115.
  • Nowak, L. (1970). "Teorie racjonalnego zachowania jako teorie modelowe". Studia Metodologiczne, 7, 59-89.
  • Nowak, L. (1971). U podstaw Marksowskiej metodologii nauk. Warszawa: Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe.
  • Nowak, L. (1974a). "O jednorodności pojęcia modelu". Neodidagmata, 6, 61-69.
  • Nowak, L. (1974b). U podstaw marksistowskiej aksjologii. Warszawa: Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe.
  • Nowak, L. (1977). Wstęp do idealizacyjnej teorii nauki. Warszawa: Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe.
  • Nowak, L. (1992). "The idealizational approach to science: a survey". In: Brzeziński, J. & Nowak, L. (eds.), Idealization III: Approximation and Truth, 9-63. Amsterdam-Atlanta: Rodopi.
  • Patryas, W. (1979). Idealizacyjny charakter interpretacji humanistycznej. Poznań: Wydawnictwo Naukowe UAM.
  • Přibáň, J. (2007). "Oppressors and Their Victims: The Czech Lustration Law and the Rule of Law". In: Mayer-Rieckh, A. & de Greiff, P. (eds.), Justice as Prevention: Vetting Public Employees in Transitional Societies, 308-346. New York: Social Science Research Council.
  • Smolak, M. (2002). "Sprawiedliwość transformacyjna na przykładzie Komisji Prawdy i Pojednania Republiki Południowej Afryki". Państwo i Prawo, 11, p. 66-73.
  • Teitel, R. G. (2000). Transitional Justice. Oxford–New York: Oxford University Press.
  • TRC (Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa) (1998). The TCR Report. Retrieved from: http://www.justice.gov.za/trc/report/index.htm.
  • United Nations Economic and Social Council (2006). Promotion and Protection of Human Rights. Study on the right to the truth. Report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, UN Doc E/CN.4/2006/91 (8 February 2006).
  • United Nations Security Council (1993). Security Council Resolution 827 (1993), UN Doc S/RES/827 (25 May 1993).
  • United Nations Security Council (1994). Security Council Resolution 955 (1994), UN Doc S/RES/955 (8 November 1994).
  • United Nations Security Council (2004). The rule of law and transitional justice in conflict and post-conflict societies. Report of the Secretary-General, UN Doc S/2004/616 (23 August 2004).
  • Wilke, Ch. (2007). "The Shield, the Sword and the Party: Vetting the East German Public Sector". Mayer-Rieckh, A. & de Greiff, P. (eds.), Justice as Prevention: Vetting Public Employees in Transitional Societies, 348-400. New York: Social Science Research Council.
  • Williams, M. S., Nagy, R., & Elster, J. (eds.) (2012). Transitional Justice. New York–London: NYU Press.
  • Wolff-Powęska, A. (2010). Pamięć – brzemię i uwolnienie. Niemcy wobec nazistowskiej przeszłości (1945-2010). Poznań: Zysk i S-ka.
  • Zajadło, J. (2003). Odpowiedzialność za Mur. Procesy strzelców przy Murze Berlińskim. Gdańsk: Arche.

Document Type

Publication order reference


YADDA identifier

JavaScript is turned off in your web browser. Turn it on to take full advantage of this site, then refresh the page.