Back to RJ Archive

The meaning of impunity: what do victims, offenders and society think of restorative encounters in the context of ETA terrorism in Spain?

Varona, Gema
June 4, 2015

Source: (2013) Restorative Justice. 1(2):215-243.

The object of this article is to work with the concept of injustice, rather than impunity, following Reyes Mate’s theory (2011), from the standpoint of restorative justice. The concept of delicate and real injustice, as developed by this Spanish philosopher, obliges us to take certain significant nuances into account. It is not a de-contextualised concept. On the contrary, it is a concept that underlines aspects of justice that are linked to more inherently local and community dimensions. The experiences of victims of terrorism are assessed from the standpoint of individual victimisation and acknowledgement in terms of the active responsibility of offenders as well as with a broad range of complementary responses to the social and political harm done. This work refers mainly to the terrorist group ETA, based on considerations drawn from the results of previous research. In the first part of the paper, the state of play with regard to restorative encounters within the domain of terrorist victimisation in Spain will be examined. We will then explore the many and diverse meanings of the concept of impunity in models of modern, restorative and transitional justice. In the conclusion, by identifying possible new avenues of research in the future, some final remarks will be made regarding revised plural interpretations of impunity in the eyes of victims, offenders and society. (author’s abstract)


AbstractEuropeRJ in SchoolsStatutes and Legislation
Support the cause

We've Been Restoring Justice for More Than 40 Years

Your donation helps Prison Fellowship International repair the harm caused by crime by emphasizing accountability, forgiveness, and making amends for prisoners and those affected by their actions. When victims, offenders, and community members meet to decide how to do that, the results are transformational.

Donate Now