Transitional justice and the rule of law are frequently expected, in conflict-affected societies, to be not only intertwined with one another, but to help to promote post-conflict or post-agreement stability. At the same time, a range of actors is engaged in rule of law promotion and the promotion of security sector reform. Over the past two decades, numerous processes have emerged to promote accountability, rule of law and security in fragile and conflict-affected states, developed by an ever-increasing number of actors at the local, national, regional and international levels. These actors have various and sometimes competing operational priorities, and operate simultaneously and sequentially in the context of situations in which change is both urgent, but necessarily long-term. This paper examines the interaction of transitional justice and rule of law and security sector reform, identifying key concepts, actors, processes, and challenges in pursuing multiple processes simultaneously.

About the authors
Dr. Anja Mihr is Associate Professor at the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM), University of Utrecht, Netherlands; and founder of the HUMBOLDT-VIADRINA Center on Governance through Human Rights in Berlin, Germany. Together with Chandra Lekha Sriram she is principal investigator of a research project on the Impact of Transitional Justice on Democratic Institution-building (TJDI: Previously she has been Head of Rule of Law at The Hague Institute for Global Justice, Visiting Professor for Human Rights at Peking University Law School in China, and European Program Director of E.MA at the European Inter-University Center for Human Rights in Venice, Italy.

Dr. Chandra Lekha Sriram is Professor of International Law and International Relations and Director of the Centre on Human Rights in Conflict at the University of East London ( and, with Anja Mihr, a principal investigator of the TJDI project. Her research focuses on human rights and post-atrocity justice and conflict prevention, resolution and peacebuilding. She has also recently been the principal investigator of large research projects funded by the United States Institute of Peace and the British Academy on rule of law, transitional justice, victims and ex-combatants in conflict-affected countries.

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