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Contract; Decolonization; Global Governance; human rights; Law & Development; Law Reform; Legal Anthropology; Property; rule of law; Third World Approaches to International Law [TWAIL]; Transitional Justice


This chapter is the introduction to the forthcoming edited collection "Law in Transition: Human Rights, Developments and Transitional Justice", edited by the authors and forthcoming with Hart Publishing (Oxford, 2013). The book will appear in the "Osgoode Reader" series and brings together many of the leading experts of the increasingly pertinent intersection of development, rights and transitional justice studies. The Introduction traces the theoretical and practical challenges of this discursive interaction and argues that it is only through such dialogue that a better understanding of the institutional and normative issues arising in contemporary law & development and TJ contexts will be possible. The chapter provides an overview of the history of the law & development movement, which is then discussed together with the rise of human rights theory and critique, especially against the background of decolonization, the rise of so-called ‘Third World Approaches in International Law’ [TWAIL], the rise and ambivalent aftermath of the Washington Consensus as well as the proliferation of post-conflict and law reform initiatives around the world. Transitional Justice, as a relatively young ‘legal’ field, brings to the table a host of interdisciplinary challenges arising from the complexity of post-conflict, state building and law reform contexts. The present chapter as well as the ensuing contributions to the edited collection highlight the importance of bringing these important fields in closer dialogue with each other.