Research Staff

Elin Skaar

Research Professor

Completed projects

Jan 2005 - Dec 2005

Courts in transition

Aug 2003 - Feb 2005

Aid to judicial reform

Journal Articles

Books and Anthologies

Book Chapters

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Popular Presentations and Lectures

Political scientist exploring intersections between law and politics in Latin America and Africa

Elin Skaar is Research Professor at CMI. Her research focuses mainly on countries that through processes of democratization deal with human rights violations, transitional justice, strengthening and reforming their courts, and development issues more generally. Main empirical focus: Latin America (Argentina, Chile, Uruguay) and Southern Africa (Angola, Mozambique).

Skaar has worked on human rights and transitional justice issues since the early 1990s. She leads CMI's research on Transitional Justice, which focuses on both the drivers and impact of transitional justice processes. She has directed several  international research projects on this topic, including "Drivers of Justice", "Reconceptualising Justice: The Latin American Experience" and "Beyond Words: Implementing Latin American Truth Commission Recommendations."

Skaar is currently part of the core team investigating the work of the Norwegian Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and heads a project on Truth Commissions and Conflict Related Sexual Violence focusing on African and Latin American experiences. She also heads a project on Women on the Bench: The Role of Female Judges in Fragile States (

Skaar has been Research Director of the “Rights, Democracy and Development” programme (2007-2009); coordinator for the cluster on “Rights and Legal Institutions” (2009-17); and head of the research group on “Rights and Gender” (2017- 2019). She is part of the steering committee at the Center for Law and Social Transformation, where she also coordinates the unit on Courts, Judicial Behaviour & Transitional Justice. She is a former member of the Board of Chr. Michelsen Institute (2017-21) and former member of the Board of Directors at the Centre for applied research at the Norwegian School of Economics, Norway (2007 – 2015). 

Skaar has done programme work for the UNDP and served as a consultant for NORAD, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ireland Aid, and Nordic Consulting Group A/S. 

Skaar has published extensively on courts and transitional justice issues. Her most recent publications inlcude two volumes on truth commissions in Latin America, both with Intersentia (Cambridge): 

Exploring Truth Commission Recommendations in a Comparative Perspective: Beyond Words Vol. I (co-written with Eric Wiebelhaus-Brahm and Jemima García-Godos).

Latin American Experiences with Truth Commission Recommendations: Beyond Words Vol. II (co-edited with Eric Wiebelhaus-Brahm and Jemima García-Godos).

Most recent publications