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States that are in transition after a violent conflict or an authoritarian past face daunting challenges in (re)establishing the rule of law. This volume examines in detail attempts that were made in certain significant post-conflict or post-authoritarian situations to strengthen the domestic rule of law with the aid of international law. Attention is paid in particular to the empowerment of domestic courts in such situations. International law may serve these courts as a tool for reconciling the demands for new rights and responsibilities with due process and other rule of law requirements.
The volume contains case studies of the role of domestic courts in various post-conflict and transitional situations (Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan, Nepal, East Timor, Russia, South Africa, and Rwanda). Each of these case studies seeks to answer questions relating to the exact constitutional moment empowering domestic courts to apply international law, the range of international legal norms that are applied, the involvement of international actors in bringing about change, the contextualization of international legal norms in states in transition, tension within such states as a result of the application of international law, and the legacy of domestic courts' empowerment in terms of durable rule of law entrenchment.