Source: (2003) In Nigel Biggar, ed., Burying the Past: Making Peace and Doing Justice after Civil Conflict. Expanded and updated. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press. Pp. 3-24.

Beginning with the August 15, 1998, incident in which the Real IRA exploded a bomb in the town center of Omagh, Northern Ireland, and reactions to it, Nigel Biggar points to the considerable tension between the moral demands of justice and the political requirements of peace. While exploration of this tension is of academic interest, it is also clearly of practical, political interest. If people regard a political settlement as unjust, they will not support it. If enough people consider it unjust, a political settlement will no longer be viable. These considerations are very much relevant, practically and politically, in Northern Ireland and South Africa, as Biggar observes. In this framework, Biggar argues in this chapter that this tension, in Northern Ireland and South Africa in particular, is less severe than some suppose. The 1998 Good Friday Agreement (Northern Ireland) and the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (South Africa) remain viable, and it is a misrepresentation to criticize them as simply trading justice for peace.