In this paper I focus on a fundamental legal dilemma that the legacy of systematic injustice characteristically creates following periods of civil conflict and repressive rule. In the aftermath of injustice there is often a strong urge to punish those who committed morally egregious acts of injustice, but it is challenging to find legal grounds for such punishment. To explain this dilemma I summarize the case of the grudge informer. I then survey the different justifications for punishment found in the literature, concentrating on the idea that it is important to (re-)build a just order and sense of justice within transitional communities. To provide resources for understanding what constitutes a just order and for evaluating punishment's contribution to this order, I articulate a conception of just political relationships, which are realized in a just order. I then return to the case of the grudge informer and explain how punishment may facilitate the creation of a just order by fostering some of the social and moral conditions that underpin it.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Justice, Responsibility and Reconciliation in the Wake of Conflict|
|Editors||Alice MacLachlan, Allen Speight|
|Number of pages||16|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2013|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities(all)