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Timor-Leste has had a troubled history and faces an uncertain future. Having experienced colonisation for centuries followed by the Indonesian occupation, with all its abuses of human rights, Timor-Leste emerged as an independent state, based on the rule of law and on respect for human rights. The last few years have shown that no society is simple and that the complex influences of the past continue to shape political, social and cultural realities.
This book seeks to examine contemporary challenges for justice and human rights in the shadow of the past. It approaches the task from a broad, interdisciplinary perspective, conscious of the need to integrate insights not only of scholars immersed in human rights, international criminal justice and customary law, but of others whose backgrounds are in international relations, history, anthropology, demography, sociology, geography and ecology.