(South African War Tribunal picture courtesy of qu301southafrica.com)
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa created in 1995 established a new paradigm for reparative justice that contrasted greatly with the Nuremburg trials. In Nuremburg, the victors of WWII historically addressed human right violations as an international community, as survivors of genocide and war atrocities were given a stage to tell their stories, and the suited men who wrote off the war mechanisms that crushed their lives were sentenced to death.
The Truth committees established towards the end of the twentieth century were asked to deliver the same cathartic trial, but for crimes that had been institutionalized in hundreds of years of colonialism. The common demonization of justice, war crimes investigator Richard Goldstone noted in “For Humanity” was what war victims, and even civil warring post-colonial factions, desired most.
But where justice is commonly seen as the death of the murderer…
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