Towards Post-Transitional Justice

The Failures of Transitional Justice and the Roles of Civil Society in Indonesia

  • Sri Lestari Wahyuningroem Universitas Pembangunan Nasional ‘Veteran’ Jakarta, Indonesia


When democratization took place in 1998 after three decades of authoritarianism in Indonesia, transitional justice became one of the agendas for the country. With the nature of compromised political transition, transitional justice brought together the interest of the elements who wished to challenge the repressive regime, and those who wished to distant themselves from the old regime in order to return to politics. As the result, transitional justice measures were successfully adopted in the beginning of political transition but failed to achieve its goals to break with the old regime and bring justice to victims. Today, after twenty years since reformasi, elements of the politics are consolidated, including those coming from the old regime. Transitional justice is undergoing a period I refer as “post transitional justice”. The main character of this state is the extensive roles of civil society. I argue in this paper that civil society, in particular the human rights groups, have important roles since the beginning of the transition in setting the agenda for transitional justice until today when state-centered mechanisms failed and led to post-transitional justice situation. These groups shift strategies to work from below and from the margins, which give strong character for post-transitional justice in Indonesia.

Author Biography

Sri Lestari Wahyuningroem, Universitas Pembangunan Nasional ‘Veteran’ Jakarta, Indonesia

Sri Lestari Wahyuningroem did her PhD at the Australian National University (ANU) as an awardee of Australian Leadership Award, with research on transitional justice and democratization in Indonesia. She has been doing research and consultancies on issues related to democracy, human rights, gender, and peace, and involve in activism at both national and international levels. Currently she is a member of Transitional Justice Asia Networks (TJAN), a network of scholars and activists on transitional justice from Asian countries initiated by the Asia Justice and Rights (AJAR).


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How to Cite
WAHYUNINGROEM, Sri Lestari. Towards Post-Transitional Justice. Journal of Southeast Asian Human Rights, [S.l.], v. 3, n. 1, p. 124-154, june 2019. ISSN 2599-2147. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 01 aug. 2021. doi:

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