Forgiveness In Transitional Justice Summary

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In Exploring Forgiveness, Robert Enright and Joanna North frame forgiveness as ‘wiping away the negative consequences of the offenders injustice and as a merciful reaching out to the offender’. The wording of this particular conception, makes forgiveness seem as though it is an act that the scorned must commit in order to save the persecutor from the consequences of the injustice that they committed. The victim, thus, becomes responsible for the act of liberating both themselves and the persecutor from the negative action. For forgiveness to have a beneficial effect on the two parties, it needs to be done in an environment where the victim does not feel any pressure to forgive. Rebecca Saunders provides reason to believe that while many transitional justice practitioners advocate for the benefits that come about as a result of forgiveness, one needs to take caution in ensuring that forgiveness is not prioritized over the societal and personal…show more content…
As an a priori good, forgiveness inherently promotes unrealistic ideas of a utopian society where victims and persecutors co-exist in harmony. Forgiveness is advertised as a fix-all tool that will ultimately assist victims in overcoming their distress and suffering. Enright et all ensure that forgiveness will help the wounded to foster qualities of ‘compassion, generosity, and even love’ towards those who acted unjustly towards them. The results on post-conflict society could be quite detrimental if transitional justice practitioners force forgiveness processes onto the victims, without truly understanding the country-specific dynamics at work. Once the effects of forgiveness are empirically examined, the optimistic outlook regarding what the concept can actually achieve may be quite drastically

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