Professor, School of Law, Queen’s University Belfast
Senior Lecturer, School of Law, Queen’s University Belfast
The ‘respectabilisation’ of transitional justice as a recognised field of inquiry over the last quarter century has coincided with this journal becoming one of the ‘go to’ places for critical socio-legal studies over the same period. Whether Sol Piciotto, Carol Smart, Paddy Hillyard and the others who set Social and Legal Studies up envisaged the emergence of a specialist field on justice in the aftermath of conflict or authoritarianism, we don’t know. However, the inaugural issue did refer to a commitment to ‘…critical scholarship, non-Western perspectives on law, regulation and criminology, the integration of feminist analyses into every level of scholarship and the advancement of accessible theoretical approaches which enhance analysis and explanation rather than providing description…with all work being presented in such a way that it will be of international relevance rather than parochial interest’ (Picciotto et al 1992: 5). All of the above speak directly to the best of what is now known as transitional justice.
To read the rest of the editorial introduction to this Virtual Special Issue, and to view the other articles for free for a limited time, follow the link below.
The provision of academic outlets for critical scholarship on the intersection between law and societies in transition is a political, moral and intellectual imperative. Social and Legal Studies has provided an obvious home for precisely such engagement. Therefore, the rationale for putting this Virtual Special Issue together was to showcase the strength and diversity of transitional justice related scholarship previously published in the journal, to underscore the relevance of the field to a more generalist audience of socio-legal scholars, and to offer some tentative pointers for future directions for research.
— Professor Kieran McEvoy and Dr Anna Bryson