This book offers a series of original essays by an international group of scholars whose work looks comparatively at law's attempts to deal with the past. Ranging from questions of criminal responsibility and amnesty to those of law's relation to time,memory, and the ethics of reconciliation, it is a sustained jurisprudential and philosophical analysis of one of the most important and pressing legal concerns of our time.
Among its key concerns is that justice's demand on law has changed and, in the face of a divided and violent past, law is being called on to do the kind of work it ordinarily shuns. What this means for conventional understandings of law, as well as for the relation between law and politics in times of transition, is explored through a discussion of experiences from Eastern Europe and Germany, to South Africa, Israel, and Australia.
The book thus provides a timely investigation of the nature of law and legal institutions in times of political and social change, and will appeal to a broad international audience including lawyers, political theorists, criminologists, and philosophers.