Transitional Justice

There are different domains of justice in political and social theory.  Retributive justice concerns penalties or punishment; distributive justice is concerned with the distribution of costs and benefits in a society; justice that is called restorative, or involves restitution, consists in either the return of some goods that were wrongly taken from a person or persons (land, artwork, money) or the giving of goods in an effort to repair unjust damage.

Over the past decades a new term has emerged–transitional justice.  This branch addresses matters of how a society or culture can make a transition from conflict (ranging from bloodless events to mass atrocities) to reconciliation.  This is an area that is of enormous importance today, and philosophers, political and social scientists, theologians, and others currently wrestle with the conditions for reconciliation.  Is it enough that a perpetrator of wrongful violent acts confesses his crimes?  Should we also expect repentance, remorse, requests for forgiveness?  Here is a good source to begin inquiry.