Doing Justice

Part of the Peace Psychology Book Series book series (PPBS)


I recall attending a television debate on the TRC sometime in 1998 with several survivors from the Khulumani Victim Support Group. In preparing for the discussion, the group and I discussed some of the issues that might be raised in the TV debate. In our discussion, the issue of amnesty came up and some expressed the view that they understood the context for this. However, once we were on air and in the glare of the live TV cameras, the mood changed. Immediately, members of the group began speaking of the need for retributive justice, demanding it. This highlights how the issue of justice was always and still is under the skin in South Africa. This, I think, is understandable and supports the findings of the research that will be outlined in this chapter that retributive justice is the preferred option for most victims. The question that the South African case presents, however, is what happens when a country, for political reasons, decides that retribution for the crimes of the past is not possible and that amnesty is preferable. To put this in another way, what happens when a country chooses peace over justice?


Criminal Justice System Procedural Justice Restorative Justice Transitional Justice Interactional Justice 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.INCOREUniversity of UlsterNorthern Ireland

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