Gender and Transitional Justice
The Women of East Timor
Routledge – 2010 – 242 pages
Gender and Transitional Justice provides the first comprehensive feminist analysis of the role of international law in formal transitional justice mechanisms. Using East Timor as a case study, it offers reflections on transitional justice administered by a UN transitional administration. Often presented as a UN success story, the author demonstrates that, in spite of women and children’s rights programmes of the UN and other donors, justice for women has deteriorated in post-conflict Timor, and violence has remained a constant in their lives.
This book provides a gendered analysis of transitional justice as a discipline. It is also one of the first studies to offer a comprehensive case study of how women engaged in the whole range of transitional mechanisms in a post-conflict state, i.e. domestic trials, internationalised trials and truth commissions. The book reveals the political dynamics in a post-conflict setting around gender and questions of justice, and reframes of the meanings of success and failure of international interventions in the light of them.
"This book offers not only a rich and detailed account of transitional justice in East Timor over the last decade but also an important theoretical framework to understand the complexities of women's lives after conflict."
Professor Hilary Charlesworth, Australian National University
"A must read for all who want to know and importantly understand the role and standing of women regarding transitional justice as it unfolds in Timor-Leste. Dr. Harris-Rimmer's account brings to bear both an engaged and an academic perspective that makes it a singularly unique contribution."
Janelle Saffin, Australian Member of Parliament; former advisor to Dr Jose Ramos Horta
"Harris Rimmer's Gender and Transitional Justice offers a rare blend of theory and empirical inquiry. It makes a well-founded critique of the debates over punishment versus reconciliation in the transitional justice field while addressing it's political realities in an exceptionally nuanced and creative way."
Ruti Teitel, Ernst C Stiefel Professor of Comparative Law, New York Law School
1. Introduction: A luta continua! (The Fight Continues!) 2. Sexing the Subject of Transitional Justice 3. Cecelia Soares Recalls: East Timor as a Case Study 4. Beloved Madam: The Indonesian ad hoc Human Rights Court 5. Wearing his Jacket: The Serious Crimes Process 6. Women Cut in Half: The Commission for Reception, Truth Seeking and Reconciliation and the Limits of Restorative Justice 7. Conclusion: 'Operation Love'. Appendices. Bibliography
Susan Harris Rimmer is Research Fellow at the Centre for International Governance and Justice, Regulatory Institutions Network, Australian National University