Transitional Justice in the Solomon Islands: A development focused agenda.

Stream: Panel 11 - International Relations: Transitional Justice in the Asia Pacific
Date: Monday, 26 September 2016
Time: 2.00 pm – 3.30 pm


In 2012, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) report was handed over to the Solomon Islands Government. Contained in the report were sixty- three pages of recommendations from the Commissioners designed to facilitate reconciliation and solidify peace. These recommendations provided a useful framework for the design and implementation of future policies which are focused on creating unity throughout the Solomon Islands by developing the capacity of the community. Indeed, these recommendations reveal a mutually reinforcing relationship between the justice, reconciliation and development goals of the Solomon Islands. The case of the Solomon Islands reflects a broader shift within the practice of transitional justice concerning the ways in which justice is achieved and understood. Indeed, holistic and restorative methods, which prioritize a community centered approach to justice now dominate the transitional justice field. Notably, TRCs have been instrumental to the evolution of a restorative approach to transitional justice, as they allow for the consideration of a diverse range of justice, reconciliation and development needs. With this in mind, this paper examines the contributions of the Solomon Islands TRC to the implementation of a transitional justice process which was forward- looking and development focused. Specifically, it will highlight the challenges associated with implementing a development focused transitional justice practice. Moreover, it will argue that despite the institutional constraints faced by the Solomon Islands TRC, it remains a model for understanding the ways in which transitional justice can contribute to a countries development agenda.


Caitlin Mollica (Presenter), Griffith University
Caitlin Mollica is a PhD Candidate with the Department of Government and International Relations at Griffith University. Her research provides a comprehensive account of the development of youth engagement with truth and reconciliation processes from the South African TRC to the more recent Solomon Islands TRC. Caitlin obtained her MA in Human Rights Studies from Columbia University focusing on the institutionalisation of the Rule of Law in transitional countries, in particular, East Timor and Sierra Leone. Previously, Caitlin has worked as a Research Assistant at Barnard College, Columbia University and at Amnesty International USA.