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Answers to atrocities: Restorative justice as an answer to extreme situations

Christie, Nils
June 4, 2015

Source: (2001) In Victim policies and criminal justice on the road to restorative justice: Essays in honour of Tony Peters, ed. E. Fattah and S. Parmentier, 379-392. With an introduction by E. Fattah and S. Parmentier. Leuven, Belgium: Leuven University Press.

It is rather simple and straightforward to propose mediation and restoration for small harms, such as against property. It is distinctly more complex and difficult to propose such responses to crimes of violence against people. Nils Christie, however, goes even further to raise the question of restorative, rather than punitive, responses to extreme harms, such as those from World War II and later horrors. To indicate the multitude of possibilities, he suggests a range or scale of potential answers: total amnesia; silence; truth-seeking; punishment; restoration; and amnesty. In the course of discussing each of these possibilities, he also reflects on the prevention of atrocities and international penal courts


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