Seminar: Borders and Boundaries - – Dr Prosper Maguchu
Importing Asset Recovery “Duty Free” in Transitional Justice Process
On Tuesday 4 February, the School of Law in conjunction with the Scholars at Risk Network and Universities Ireland welcomed Dr Prosper Maguchu, visiting academic at the Vrije University, Amsterdam. His lecture focused on the application of asset recovery as an accountability mechanism for transitional justice and human rights processes. Additionally, it emphasised economic crimes and corruption as the hallmark of authoritarian and non-democratic regimes.
The discussion covered the various types of transitional justice approaches such as Amnesty schemes, truth commissions, reparation programs, and criminal prosecutions. While these approaches are valuable, problems may arise because the practice of these transitional justice mechanisms are often temporary, narrowly focused, expensive, or subject to the availability of resources. This may burden poorer countries and render their transitional justice processes more difficult.
Dr Maguchu advocated for asset recovery as a potential solution to transitional justice approaches as it could provide sources of funding and assist in deterring the future commission of crimes. He spoke on the effectiveness of asset recovery in situations where corruption is intrinsic to violations and abuse. He also emphasised that as asset recovery is already an integral part of human rights development, it should also be embedded in transitional justice processes. Lastly, Dr Maguchu concluded that the future of the study and application of transitional justice will be constructed through innovation and creativity.