Professor Colleen Murphy has authored a blog post for Opinio Juris titled "Transitional Justice Symposium: Transitional Justice as a Touchstone for Normative Accounts." An excerpt follows:
Ruti Teitel’s 2000 book, Transitional Justice,was and remains agenda-setting for scholars working in normative theory. In this post I explain why and some of the ongoing debates whose origin can be traced to her work.
Normative theories of justice specify what justice demands and why this is the case. Such theories are not descriptive. They do not aim to capture the views of justice held by members of a particular community. Normative theories aim to capture what should be the case, not what is. The method of normative theory is not the method of social science; surveys can tell us what a specific group of individuals believe justice requires, but do not determine what justice in fact demands. Normative theorizing also assumes that what is the case need not be the case; power dynamics and relations may influence, but do not determine, what can and should occur. Normative theorizing aims to provide standards for critique of existing beliefs and practices. When what is departs from what should be, we have grounds for critique of perpetrators or enablers of injustice.
Read the full blog post at opiniojuris.org.