Regarding Rights

Academic and activist perspectives on human rights

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Refugees and Transitional Justice: Reflections on fieldwork from Liberia

By Jacqueline Parry

Centre for International Governance and Justice

Advocates for Human Rights Report on the work of the Liberian TRC with diasporic communities
Available at

Jacqueline recently completed five months fieldwork in Liberia and Buduburam refugee camp, Ghana, in order to explore how refugees interacted with the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) as well as issues of transitional justice more broadly. This blog post sets out some initial reflections from that period of fieldwork.

Both refugees and transitional justice have the ability to convey potent messages about state sovereignty. Sovereignty, the set of norms held by the international community concerning the legitimate organisation of political authority, has changed over time and according to context.[1] Since the Second World War the understanding of sovereignty has shifted from being a purely territorial matter to incorporating – in rhetoric if not in fact – a particular type of relationship between the state and its citizens.[2] Continue Reading →