Colombia’s transitional justice provisions for victims and women in particular, have attained global best practice status. What will be the real impact for victims of the civil war? How can the rule of law help Colombia find the roads to justice? Based on a 2010–2014 in-depth, multi-method study of the legal mobilization strategies of displaced women’s organizations, we argue that the examination of women’s transitional justice should not be reduced to an assessment of the implementation of a sophisticated and celebrated legal and political framework. We suggest that a possible way of developing a more complex transitional justice narrative is to examine what the turn to transitional justice is a shift from: by highlighting the temporal and temporary aspects of laws, legal institutions and legal identities in the Colombian armed conflict, we can achieve a better understanding of what previous legal transitions have meant for this particular group of victims. We suggest that this approach can be useful for developing analytical perspectives for appraising how the post-conflict framework plays out for victims.
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