Source: (1999) In Community forgiveness and restorative justice: Essays from the criminal justice system and the peace movement, ed. Robert D. Enright, 27-30. Issue 8 of The World of Forgiveness 2 (May). Madison, Wisconsin: International Forgiveness Institute.

Nigel Biggar raises the question of peace and justice in the political context of civil conflict. When perpetrators of injuries have acted, from their perspective, in service of a just cause – for example, national liberation or a particular political movement – attempts to mete out justice through judicial punishments may threaten the negotiated settlement that ended the civil conflict. Should a peace be sought that may appear to overlook the injurious acts and the victims? Or, should a justice be sought that may re-ignite the conflict? Biggar seeks a way out of this dilemma by recasting our notion of criminal justice. Rather than seeing criminal justice primarily in terms of punishment of perpetrators, we should view criminal justice primarily in terms of vindication of victims.