The Comparative Study of Transitional Justice in Africa (CSTJA) seeks to contribute to policy deliberations about transitional justice processes in Africa. The Study presents a trend analysis of 12 country case studies in Africa where transitional justice mechanisms have been implemented. Mapping the range of processes in this field, the Study pays attention to transitional justice mechanisms instigated between 1990 and 2011 to deepen the understanding of how these processes were developed, and the role of their respective contributions to the prevention or recurrence of war and repression. Specifically, the Study will examine the factors that shaped state policy decisions in framing the diverse set of responses to dealing with legacies of dictatorship, civil war, and mass human rights abuses. Furthermore, the consequences of these decisions for achieving sustainable peace and preventing future human rights abuses will be assessed.

The 12 country cases are: Algeria, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, and Tunisia.

This Study fills a critical gap in research on comparative transitional justice as there have been no systematic comparative studies of a larger sample of African countries’ experiences of transitional justice. Through synthesizing qualitative and quantitative approaches to transitional justice, the Study will provide a basis for understanding the drivers and shapers of transitional justice decision-making, as well as the emergent impact trends of the transitional justice processes on peace and democracy.

The Study’s first phase has been completed wherein 12 case reports were compiled that investigated the TJ processes in each country. The second (and current) phase is the compilation of two reports that analyse (1) the Drivers of TJ Processes; and (2) the Impacts of the Transitional Justice in each of the cases. The final stage of the Study focuses upon dissemination of the findings. The Study will result in reports and presentations containing practical recommendations directed at key policy-makers, including those in the AU, South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation, donors involved in transitional justice funding, civil society, media, and academia. It is envisioned that the Study will contribute to critical debates in African transitional justice, as well as advance policies and measures for its robust implementation.

Key staff involved in the project include:

Hugo van der Merwe – Director of Research, Knowledge and Learning
Maxine Rubin – Researcher

Related Knowledge Outputs To Date:

Tunisia: The Colonial Legacy and Transitional Justice [Hyperlink:]

Nigeria: The Colonial Legacy and Transitional Justice [Hyperlink]

Yusuf, Hakeem O. "Colonialism and the Dilemmas of Transitional Justice in Nigeria." International Journal of Transitional Justice (2018), available at

The need of Transitional Justice to embrace gender justice, CSVR Policy Brief: [Hyperlink:]

Transitional Justice and Colonialism: Policy Brief [Hyperlink: Justice and Colonialism - Policy Brief.pdf]

Transitional Justice and SGBV: Policy Brief [Hyperlink: and TJ Policy Brief.pdf]

Transitional Justice and SGBV: Poster [Hyperlink: and TJ - Poster.pdf]

African Transitional Justice and International Norms: Policy Brief [Hyperlink: Transitional Justice and International Norms.pdf]



Country Case Studies:

Algeria – Djamila Ould Khettab: [Hyperlink:]

CAR – Niagale Bagayoko: [Hyperlink:]

DRC – Shirambere Philippe Tunamsifu: [Hyperlink:]

Kenya – Andrew Songa: [Hyperlink:]

Liberia – Aaron Weah: [Hyperlink:]

Marocco – Fadoua Loudiy: [Hyperlink:]

Mozambique – Victor Igreja: [Hyperlink:]

Nigeria – Hakeem O. Yusuf: [Hyperlink:]

Rwanda – Nicole Beardsworth: [Hyperlink:]

South Africa – Maxine Rubin, et al: [Hyperlink:]

Tunisia – Laryssa Chomiak: [Hyperlink:]


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