Pier Paolo Portinaro

La giustizia retributiva oltre la pena

  • Abstract

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The article considers some recent transformations in the theory of justice. During the 90s the process of setting out a body of international criminal law rules has increased in speed and relevance - with the consequence of a renewed interest for retributive justice and the emergence of the paradigma of restorative justice. In amending tragic historical immoralities, restitution, reparation and reconciliation replace a universal comprehensive standard of justice with a negotiated justice among opposing parties in specific cases. The centerpiece of restorative justice is the willingness of groups or governments to admit to unjust and discriminatory past policies and to negotiate terms for restitution or reparation or apology with their victims based more on moral considerations than on power politics. Drawing on the discussion of the new international emphasis on morality (characterized not only by accusing other goverments of human rights abuses but also by selfexamination), the article attempts to outline even broader conclusions about a theory of historical justice. Historical justice refers to the admission of wrongdoing, the recognition of its effects and the acceptance of responsability for those effects. It provides an alternative to vengeance and a measure of accountability for the perpetrators and justice for the victims by establishing truth.

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