Restorative Justice

'Restorative justice' centres on the idea that justice must include an effort to ‘restore’ a lost balance and that prosecution is not the only or the best means to attain this balance. Rather, victims, perpetrators, and the broader community should engage in a dialogue that aims to identify and address the underlying social and political causes of intra-state war, organised violence, and crime, and massive violations of human rights, as is done in the traditional systems of reconciliation of the Acholi in Uganda.

A judicial system or 'restorative justice' on its own will probably not effect the resolution of conflict. A combined effort by the 'pillars of society' to gather data and process it into tangible knowledge where all the 'higher minds' of society are applied, presents a powerful indigenous knowledge base on which firm decision can be taken on how to effect national reconciliation, meeting the expectations of the majority of the indigenous society as the highest priority.

There are political differences and crimes that international law cannot deal with; it can only provide a framework within which political differences can be resolved and new understandings can develop.

Today the emphasis is on political 'reconciliation' rather than a mere 'transition' to democracy, which cannot take place without reconciliation. International law has to promote reconciliation if the project of peace in 'transitional' societies is to be assured.

Ad hoc tribunals suffer from high cost and a slow pace of execution, the emphasis being placed on foreign experts, foreign models, and foreign-conceived solutions to the detriment of durable improvements and sustainable capacity. Consequently, new ad hoc international tribunals, developed in Sierra Leone and Cambodia, have been designed with varying degrees of joint international and local control over them, including local officials, traditional and religious leaders to promote national reconciliation.

A new 'hybrid approach', identifying through dialogue areas of agreement and legal issues. It is from this comprehensive, democratic approach that recognises the approaches of the local communities that a new legal order can emerge that both the international community and the local communities can accept.

Nabudere proposes an integrative approach to create a new global order in which the voices of all communities can advance a new synthesis based on 'restorative justice', which recognises both the dependencies of the people of the world on one another and at the same time accepts the identities of local communities and their aspirations.

Nabudere suggests a new response that reflects respect for all human beings based on the philosophy of Ubuntu and the ancient Egyptian philosophy of Maat. Both these philosophies stand for 'connective justice' that holds that all humanity is interconnected and depend on one another. The Ubuntu philosophy that holds that ‘I exist because you exist’ is the only way to overcome destructive conflicts that insist on destroying others.

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