Wall of black-and-white portrait photos of people

Twenty lessons from twenty years of transitional justice in Asia

An exclusive lunchtime seminar
Join co-founders of Asia Justice and Rights (AJAR), Patrick Burgess and Galuh Wandita, to discuss key lessons on transitional justice in Asia.

When: Thursday 28 March 2019

Across Asia, societies face difficult challenges in their efforts to address past and ongoing mass human rights violations. The last two decades have ushered transitional justice processes that reflect the fragile transitions in many Asian countries. From the trials for serious crimes in Phnom Penh, Jakarta, Dili to Dhaka, tenuous truth-seeking as part of peace settlements such as Mindanao and Aceh, and Nepal; attempts to compensate victims for their suffering in Thailand and the Philippines, transitional justice approaches are being adapted. In the most successful processes, civil society organizations (CSOs) have courageously found ways to push for justice, truth, and dignity for victims, even in seemingly blocked transitions.


Patrick Burgess is co-founder and President of Asia Justice and Rights (AJAR). He is a barrister and trial counsel, and a recognized international expert and trainer on post conflict issues, transitional justice, legal aid and human rights. He is an International Advisor to the South East Asia Legal Aid Network (SEALAW), and a Senior Advisor to several programs in the south east Asia regions focusing on legal aid and the rule of law. He has previously worked for the Australian Refugee Review Tribunal and two UN Peacekeeping missions in Timor Leste. He was the Commissioner of the Timor Leste Judicial Commission and the Principal Legal Counsel of the Timor Leste Truth and Reconciliation Commission. For five years he was Asia Director for the International Center for Transitional Justice.

Galuh Wandita was a humanitarian worker with Oxfam during the 1999 referendum in East Timor, and later on joined the UN’s Human Rights Unit. From 2002-2005 she was the Deputy Director of Timor-Leste’s Truth Commission (CAVR). She contributed to designing and managing the fieldwork conducted by the CAVR district teams, and drafted key chapters in the CAVR report. She returned to Indonesia as a Senior Associate for the International Center for Transitional Justice, working on accountability in Indonesia and Timor-Leste. In 2012, she co-founded Asia Justice and Rights (AJAR) and continues to lead the organization as its Director. In 2014, she was a co-convener and member of a “citizen’s council” working with a coalition of 50 NGOs across Indonesia (KKPK) in a civil society-led truth-seeking process. She is a member of an international advisory panel on the Centro Nacional Chega (CNC), a follow-up body aiming to preserve memory and assist survivors in Timor-Leste. She also is an advisor to the Aceh Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

This event was co-hosted by SSEAC and the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Sydney.

Photo from AJAR’s Partner Vimutti Women’s Organization's Participatory Action Research Report.