Transitional justice refers to a variety of measures that aim to address large-scale or systematic human rights violations in societies emerging from repression or mass violence. This chapter reviews the interdisciplinary literature on transitional justice with a particular focus on empirical studies attempting to uncover its effects on individuals affected by violence and repression, including victims, perpetrators, and communities at large. We first consider retributive and restorative justice as two distinct notions of justice that are of primary concern in the aftermath of mass atrocities, and then zoom in on the psychological implications of major transitional justice measures. These measures include criminal trials, truth commissions, material and symbolic reparations, as well as grassroot and hybrid measures. In addition, we discuss the case of impunity, or the absence of transitional justice. Our review highlights the advantages and limitations of different transitional justice measures in promoting human rights, peace, and reconciliation, and identifies directions for future research.
Keywords: mass violence, transitional justice, retributive justice, restorative justice, human rights