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A international teams of human rights As significant as this progress is, War, 4 million Africans, denied of any scholars and practitioners with the it is an ongoing and difficult process. personal freedom and liberties, toiled in International Center for Transitional Victims and offenders must be prepared fields picking cash crops for plantation Justice. The first project was to help and open to face past transgressions, owners. By the end of World War II, make reparations after political violence and in some cases, one or both sides 6 million Jews in Europe were system- and repression more sensitive and just to might not be ready. Walker points to the atically murdered in gas chambers and both genders. The second project was a failure of the Japanese government to concentration camps. In 1994, in just 100 study of how various measures — such properly acknowledge that thousands of days, roughly 500,000 Rwandans were as criminal trials, truth commissions and women, mostly Korean, were coerced killed and countless women were the memorial sites — actually work. Walker or kidnapped into sexual enslavement t the outset of the American Civil victims of brutal rape. In such cases, where torture and brutality were systematically carried out, is justice possible? What does it look like, and how is it achieved? Dr. Margaret Urban Walker, the Donald J. Schuenke IN SEARC By Andrew Brodzeller Chair of Philosophy at Marquette and author of Moral Repair: Reconstructing focused on how truth commissions Moral Relations After Wrongdoing, has function and can be effective. made it her life’s work to better understand exciting experience both to learn from it. “All through history, when it was over, scholars and practitioners worldwide it was just over,” Walker reflects. “We and to contribute to one of the most cannot just turn the page. Instead, we remarkable phenomena of our times — need to look at issues and rebuild trust the systematic pursuit of justice in the and hope.” aftermath of massive political violence,” Walker says the past 50 years have brought a historical shift in our under- she says. This progress has moved the idea of standing of justice, a time in which justice from exclusively one of retribution, in Japanese Army brothels during World international systems of norms for the which focuses on punishment of the War II or the Lakota Sioux’s refusal to basic protection and recognition of offender, to one that includes reparation. accept a monetary settlement from the individuals have taken hold. Germany’s This form of justice is meant to help U.S. government for the theft of the payments to Jewish survivors of the release victims from the disgrace, Black Hills. Holocaust started what has become a dishonor and contempt of the wrong growing international emphasis on the they’ve witnessed or endured, while think about continued transgressions human right to individual reparation. As offenders or countries admit to and worldwide, Walker thinks incredible a moral philosopher, these developments apologize for the crimes committed. strides have been made in recent genera- allow Walker to not only think about Reparative justice, according to Walker, tions and that there is hope for a better the nature of moral rules and shared helps exemplify and establish mutual future. “Through all the history of the norms but to witness how human beings accountability as moral partners in a world, most human beings have had to progress morally and come to new shared future. Reparative justice can take hope for luck or mercy rather than justice convictions and understandings. many forms, including public apologies, when they have been terribly wronged,” The author of several books, Walker 14 “It has been an extraordinary and what justice means and how to achieve Though it can be disheartening to monetary or material amends, creation of she says. “But now there is a glimmer of has also taken an active role to help memorials, the exhumation and proper hope that some justice, however small define and articulate this new concept reburial of human remains, and access to and undependable, is within reach. That of justice. Twice she has worked with medical services. is, humanly, incredibly moving.”² Discover

Discover 2012

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