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Transitional Justice: A Holistic Interpretation.

Boraine, Alexander
June 4, 2015

Source: (2006) Journal of International Affairs. 60(1):17-27.

It is when we come to the term “justice” that the issue of meeting the challenges of the future becomes more controversial. There are different types of justice. Justice is often referred to as retributive, restorative or distributive, or even as economic or social transformation. For some who are committed to criminal justice, there is a suspicion that transitional justice may be less than that; transitional justice, therefore, should be carefully defined in case it detracts from the strength and legitimacy of criminal justice, both domestically and internationally.

Transitional justice, however, is not a contradiction of criminal justice. It is a convenient way of describing the search for a just society in the wake of undemocratic, often oppressive and even violent systems. Therefore, rather than detracting from criminal justice, transitional justice offers a deeper, richer and broader vision of justice which seeks to confront perpetrators, address the needs of victims and assist in the start of a process of reconciliation and transformation. (excerpt)


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