Skip to main content
Article
Victims on transitional justice : lessons from the reparation of human rights abuses in the Czech Republic
Human Rights Quarterly
  • Roman DAVID, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
  • Yuk Ping, Susanne CHOI, Chinese University of Hong Kong
Document Type
Journal article
Publication Date
5-1-2005
Abstract
This article examines major theoretical dilemmas underpinning measures of transitional justice in general and the reparation of victims of human rights violations in particular. It assesses the role of financial compensation, justice, truth-telling, forgiveness, democratization, and other factors that are assumed to heal victims of political violence. In order to test their influence, we conducted a survey of former political prisoners in the Czech Republic. Findings from our regression analyses reveal that reparation is a two-dimensional process that incorporates sociopolitical redress and inner healing. These dimensions correlate positively with financial compensation and democratization; and negatively with public truth telling, the lack of reconciliation, and continued stigmatization by neighbors. At the same time, most proxies of retributive desires are not significantly related to the outcomes of reparation. These associations are interpreted in the light of narrative accounts obtained through interviews, letters, and observations. The results indicate that individual reparation, if it is to be successful, must be an organic part of a broader policy of social reconstruction. Based on our findings, we propose a victim-oriented model of social reconstruction for transitional countries.
DOI
10.1353/hrq.2005.0016
E-ISSN
1085794X
Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2005 by The John Hopkins University Press

Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.

Full-text Version
Publisher’s Version
Citation Information
David, R., & Choi, S. Y.-p. (2005). Victims on transitional justice: Lessons from the reparation of human rights abuses in the Czech Republic. Human Rights Quarterly, 27(2), 392-435. doi: 10.1353/hrq.2005.0016