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Restorative or retributive justice for offenses against humanity

Little, David
June 4, 2015

Source: (1998) Paper presented at the Forum on Religion and Foreign Policy, held 28 May.

This document is an outline of a presentation by David Little, of the U.S. Institute of Peace, at a meeting of the Forum on Religion and Foreign Policy. The Forum consisted of a multidisciplinary membership including international lawyers, business people, retired diplomats, scholars, nonprofit leaders, and clergy from Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. Sixteen participants gathered for this third in a series of ongoing Forum discussions. David Little notes that much has been said in favor of reconciliation rather than retribution in response to human rights violations within and between countries. In this context, Little sketches arguments for restorative approaches and arguments for retributive approaches to such violations. He uses specific examples – such as the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission – to make the issues more concrete.


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