Ara Pacis Initiative
Rome, Protomoteca del Campidoglio, April 20th 2010
Task Force: Justice and Peacemaking
Participants: Robert Rotberg, Jaime Malamud-Goti, Mohammad Imam, Latifah Anum Siregar, Stefano Amore
Social harmony depends on creating justice for victims and enabling victims to find a way
Social harmony can only be achieved through empowering victims through a restorative
justice system. This is a necessary step for reconciliation and forgiveness. If justice is the
acknowledgment of what has been done to the victims, then justice is necessary for
reconciliation, and it makes the restoration of human dignity possible, especially in the case
of women. Forgiveness is a further step down the path. In this sense there can be no
forgiveness and social reconciliation without justice first. It would be best for the
achievement of full justice to have first short trials and then truth commissions. They both
must have a strong and direct impact on the population, so that the need for restoration
would be satisfied. We were then asking ourselves if these truth commission could have an
international dimension, but our opinion is skeptical. Apart from legitimacy problems of
international commission solving interstate conflicts, we think that the truth commissions in
order to be perceived as truthful and therefore have the requisite authority, must be close to
the conflict and to the community. That's why you need a domestic and local authority.
People and victims won't recognize as truthful the results of international truth proceedings.
An international commission may be useful only to bring reparative justice to areas where
there are no local commissions, as long as they have authority through recognition from the
parliament and in their composition and there are members of that community who are close to the conflict.