Source: (2002) Peace Review. 14(4): 447-453.

Tom Hewitt begins this essay by reflecting on his experiences as a peace monitor in 1994 in South Africa at the country's first free and fair elections. The day of the elections was the day the "new" South Africa was born. At the same time, it also was the beginning of a potentially difficult and even traumatic period in South African history. The elections promised the hope of justice for many black South Africans. For many white South Africans, the elections were fraught with anxiety and fear for the future. In this context, Hewitt asks, "How does justice come to a situation like this?" To answer, he focuses on two opposing interpretations of justice: retributive, and restorative. He does so to make a case for restorative justice as a more hopeful and ethical form of justice.