Transitional (in)Justice as Duration
This study demonstrates that the ‘transition’ in transitional jurisprudence is a collective imagination that plausibly lays upon the interaction between competing temporal narratives in ‘historical cases’—broadly understood as cases that involve the interplay between law’s temporality and historical process. The dominant view of transitional jurisprudence is inclined to consider transition as a series of discrete and fragmented events. This view, however, fails to bridge the gap between lived experience and law and policy’s mode of representation of past injustices. By contrast, this paper contends that transition should be perceived in pure temporality—transition as a flux or flow of time. This view enables legal actors to better engage in the multitude of temporalities in historical cases. This paper analyzes two issues. First, it juxtaposes the ontological perspective of time as duration and theory of adjudicative reasoning to construe ‘transition’ as a collective temporal imagination among legal actors. It manifests a theoretical basis for experiential time in law by extrapolating Postema’s legal time-mindfulness and Bergson’s duration. Second, it examines law’s distinctive virtue in micro-level agreement about the (temporal) sense of injustices. By focusing on the statutory limitation discussion in African-American Slave Descendants Litigation case in the United States, this study finds that law’s temporality is primarily contested due to the givenness of time. This article concludes that legal actors perceivably capture and disrupt persistent injustices at a micro-level by dislocating the present of atrocious lived experience.
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