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Moral ambitions within and beyond political constraints

Kiss, Elizabeth
June 4, 2015

Source: (2000) In Truth v. justice: The morality of truth commissions, eds. Robert I. Rotberg and Dennis Thompson, 68-98. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

In this study, Kiss examines issues relating to truth, reconciliation, accountability, justice, restorative justice, and socio-political realities as they relate to truth commissions, with special focus on the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). Kiss notes pragmatic, realistic justifications made by many supporters of truth commissions with respect to the moral and political compromises commissions make in pursuing their mandate. At the same time, she points to moral ambitions inherent in truth commissions as they combine a number of far-reaching functions – investigative, judicial, political, educational, therapeutic, and even spiritual. In this context, Kiss asks whether such moral ambition is legitimate or wise, and whether restorative justice is a truly distinctive type of justice that is more important than retributive justice.


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