This introductory chapter presents the democratic uprising in Egypt, Libya, and the Ivory Coast, arguing that the dilemmas associated with regime change sought to secure political order, restore legitimacy, and deal with the abuses of the prior regime. Given this context, the notion of transitional justice—the processes of coming to terms with a legacy of large-scale abuses of the prior government—came to denote a distinct field of politico-legal practice and of scholarly inquiry. Moreover, the role of international institutions in transitional justice has also evolved since the mid-1990s. Local forms of justice have not simply replaced international courts. To the contrary, the creation of the International Criminal Court (ICC) institutionalized an ongoing international role in transitional justice in lieu of ad hoc courts such as the Nuremberg Tribunal.
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