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Transitional Justice in Post-Euromaidan Ukraine

Swimming Upstream


Igor Lyubashenko

The book focusses on transitional justice policies implemented in Ukraine since the beginning of 2014. The author covers investigations and trials, vetting, historical justice, as well as two issues that only partially refer to the «transitional justice toolbox»: attempts to deal with the consequences of the armed conflict in Donbas and elements of institutional reforms that supplement transitional justice efforts. He explains constrains faced by each of the mentioned policies and interrelationships between them. The author comes to the conclusion that the Ukrainian case presents both similarities and significant differences in comparison to other post-communist countries, which implemented such policies much earlier. Furthermore, there is no evidence supporting the thesis that the implementation of these policies provides visible effects in terms of democratisation of the country.

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This book would not have come into being without the support of a number of wonderful people and institutions. First and foremost, the author would like to thank Professor Klaus Bachmann for the inspiring conversation that initiated the elaborating of the very idea to prepare this book and then to its actual implementation. Professor Bachmann was also among the first to read the manuscript – his comments were extremely valuable in preparation of the final version of the publication. It is also hard to exaggerate the significance of the opinion and comments made by the reviewer, Professor Gerhard Kemp from Stellenbosch University.

Interviews and consultations with experts were an important element of the research in this book. My special gratitude goes to Professor Volodymyr Vasylenko from the National University “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy”, Stanislav Batryn, a Kyiv-based human rights activist and expert with the NGO Public Commission for the Investigation and Prevention of Human Rights Violations in Ukraine; Oleksandra Drik from the NGO Civic Lustration Committee; Markiyan Halabala, Kyiv-based lawyer and member of the Special Temporary Commission (institution engaged in the process of lustration of judges in Ukraine); Roger Duthie from the International Center for Transitional Justice. Additionally, the author expresses his gratitude to several Ukrainian civil servants who agreed to share their opinion about the implementation of some transitional justice policies in Ukraine, but to whom anonymity was promised. Special gratitude goes to Adam Reichardt, editor in chief of the New Eastern Europe magazine, who kindly agreed to...

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