Source: (2006) International Journal of Peace Studies. 11(1):59-89.

Moving from repression or tyranny toward the rule of law and reason is fraught with difficulties. One question of transitional justice is whether those responsible for the horrors of the previous regime should be punished or whether those involved in the transition should travel a path toward forgiveness and unity. Within this article, it is urged that in the (re-)establishment of the rule of reason among all involved there is a commitment to peace as opposed to force. This commitment marks retribution and utilitarian punishment as incoherent and normatively indefensible. Resorting to punishment is the abandonment of reason, not its reinstatement. Indeed, the point can be generalized. Punishment, as resorting to force, is a move away from establishing or sustaining a framework of justification and its commitment to peace. (excerpt).