Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

'Do no harm'? Exploring the scope of economic and social rights in transitional justice

Schmid, Evelyne; Nolan, Aoife


Evelyne Schmid

Professor of International Human Rights Law


Increasing numbers of academics and practitioners are employing the language of economic and social rights (ESR) when conceptualizing the aims, scope and implementation mechanisms of transitional justice. Their contributions have added to an evolving debate on the boundaries of transitional justice. However, when employing rights language, the current debate on the economic and social dimensions of transitional justice frequently suffers from terminological and conceptual confusion. Problematically, it is not unusual for the claims made by transitional justice commentators with regard to ESR to be founded on apparent misconceptions about both the legal framework and the existing scholarship relating to ESR. Addressing these misconceptions in terms of four key dichotomies and suggesting the way forward, we prepare the ground for a more effective debate on the desirability and feasibility of incorporating ESR into transitional justice processes. In doing so, we assert that such a debate must be based on an accurate understanding of ESR and the obligations they impose. We conclude by demonstrating how inclusion of ESR considerations in transitional justice does not necessitate rethinking transitional justice as a whole.


Schmid, E., & Nolan, A. (2014). 'Do no harm'? Exploring the scope of economic and social rights in transitional justice. International Journal of Transitional Justice, 8(3),

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 15, 2014
Online Publication Date Sep 14, 2014
Publication Date Nov 1, 2014
Deposit Date Aug 12, 2016
Publicly Available Date Aug 12, 2016
Journal International Journal of Transitional Justice
Print ISSN 1752-7716
Electronic ISSN 1752-7716
Publisher Oxford University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 8
Issue 3
Keywords Human rights, economic and social rights, structural violence
Public URL
Publisher URL
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address:


You might also like

Downloadable Citations