Normative change in Transitional Justice: A discourse analysis on the Government of Sri Lankas contestation of the international Transitional Justice norm
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This study explores what precedence the Government of Sri Lanka har created in the international Transition norm. In the last three decades, the international norm of Transitional Justice has been regarded as a means toward a prosperous future from a violent and dived past. Transitional justice, like any other norm and concepts, exists because institutions, states and scholars have constructed it. The thesis draws from the perspective that international norms are by norm-users (States) contested and thus prone to change. This research takes its entry-point within the evaluation of the Government of Sri Lanka non-conformity and retracted commitment to Transitional Justice. Sri Lanka emerged from a civil war in 2009, and in 2015 Sri Lanka co-sponsored the UNHCR resolution A/HRC/RES/30/1 “Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka”. Consensus in the existing literature regarded Sri Lankas Transitional Justice process to be insufficient according to current normative standards. Sri Lanka commitment to the resolution was retracted in 2020. An understanding about how the actor interprets and perceive a norm, can be gained by analyzing the discursive contestation and justification that follows. In this thesis, contestation is regarded as a discursive act with normative power. The objective of this research is thus to go beyond the evaluating compliance gap, with the aim to identify the precedents of normative change towards the norm, as a result of GoSL contestation. The aim is to understand in what way GoSL contestation has affected the international norm of TJ, to further contribute to the research corpus on the future trajectory of TJ.