There is extensive research looking at the ability of formal transitional justice mechanisms to deliver reconciliation and justice for societies recovering from conflict and authoritarianism. There is, however, much less research exploring other desired outcomes in post-conflict societies, such as notions of normality. Using Sierra Leone as a case study, this talk seeks to question the normative assumptions about transitional justice and analyze the various informal ways in which people attempted to move past their war-related experiences in their everyday lives, ultimately demonstrating the individual, rather than societal, nature of post-conflict transitions and justice.
Dr Laura S. Martin is currently a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Birmingham. Her research focuses on formal and informal transitional justice mechanisms, with a particular interest in individual agency and appropriation of these processes. She has conducted extensive research in rural Sierra Leone and has published some of her findings in a peer-reviewed article entitled Practicing Normality: An Examination of Unrecognizable Transitional Justice Mechanisms in Sierra Leone. She recently completed her PhD in African Studies at the University of Edinburgh entitled 'Activating Justice: Local Appropriation of Transitional Justice in Sierra Leone.'