Stones Left Unturned

Law and Transitional Justice in Burundi

By Stef Vandeginste

Stones Left Unturned looks at the post-colonial history of Burundi through transitional justice lenses. It describes how repeated cycles of politico-ethnic violence - as well as the so-called "remedial" action undertaken in their aftermath - have been inspired by the desire to maintain or obtain political power. Throughout Burundi's negotiated transition from conflict to peace, dealing with the past has been a constant matter of attention. The book zooms in on the gap between the rhetorical commitment by domestic and international actors to establish a truth and reconciliation commission and a special tribunal, and the few achievements made so far. The historical account of transitional justice in Burundi is indicative of a fundamental evolution in the concept of law and how it relates to the exercise of political authority. It reveals a growing awareness that neither the process nor the outcome of transitional justice should be left solely to the discretion of the incumbent regime. Against the background of Burundi's obligations under international law, Stones Left Unturned proposes - and at the same time also critically evaluates - the use of constitutional adjudication as a way of incorporating the transitional justice process in a wider effort of promoting the rule of law in Burundi. For his doctoral dissertation, on which this book is based, Stef Vandeginste received the 2009 Max van der Stoel Human Rights Award, awarded by the Netherlands School of Human Rights Research. The jury "found this book impressive. It borrows richly from a range of theoretical traditions and combines this with painstaking documentary and fieldwork. The relevance of this book goes well beyond Burundi and provides lessons for research in different disciplines in many so-called transitional contexts" (from the jury report). Dissertation.


474 pages

Publication Date: 12/31/2010
Format: Cloth
ISBN: 9789400001152