The Cornerstone of International Justice
The legal system incorporates various stages, deferring jurisdiction and significant rules and regulations to consider. As a result, the system should ensure fairness for parties involved. Whether it is a defendant, a plaintiff or third-party there are two ways to ensure fairness. First, it establishes procedures and presumptions to ensure a fair trial or hearing. Secondly, society sets the Law of Equity to ensure fairness among members. Other elements of the justice system involve unbiased judges, protection of witnesses, presumption of innocence and trial by jury. While society can integrate an offender to ensure healing and reconciliation, justice should not only be to the perpetrators, but also to a low-level offender.
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Justice should not only be to the perpetrators who orchestrate violence and bear the most responsibility for political instability, but also to a low-level offender. Human rights practitioners advocate prosecution as a normative response to the truth. The reasons are that consistency to the rule of law and judicial systems is fundamental to satisfying victims’ need for justice. As a result, it contributes to healing and reconciliation. In the context, the rule of law provides that wrongdoers irrespective of status and tyrannies are accountable. Evidence in international justice suggests that prosecuting perpetrators political violence may not deter further atrocities.
For example, the ICC indicted and rosecuted Charles Taylor, a former president of Liberia against civil crimes. However, communities in Liberia continue engaging in crimes against each other. As a result, Tailor’s trial at the ICC did not dissuade a political leader and followers from committing similar crimes. For example, as much as victims want punishments for perpetrators, it is also essential for the people responsible for carrying out the actions. The reason is that victims will feel secure when the government arrests and details such persons, hence ensuring no further incitement from leaders.
Society can integrate a low-level offender if the government establishes programs to ensure healing and reconciliations. In most cases, issues of addressing past crimes seem significant to address. Differences in capacity and resources determine whether a country can address such an issue. Nonetheless, most crimes occur in developing countries, and a lot of cases polarize the judicial systems. As a result, when the actions stop, there is no legal capability to address such issues. Additionally, leaders who perpetrate these offences may sabotage the legal system. For example, after pressure from the international community, Pinochet retired as the head military in Chile. Before leaving the office, he appointed the majority of Supreme Court Judges whom he expected would decide his fate. He also granted his regime amnesty of atrocities. In such a scenario, the international community with the help of NGOs can develop programs to promote healing and reconciliation, and integrate low-level perpetrators who may not face trial.
Secondly, during the process of reintegration, the truth and justice commissions should note that the process can either be therapeutic or counter-productive. It should also acknowledge that members of post-conflict, both victims and low-level offenders, must engage in the process. In addition to forgiving and forgetting, the commissions should facilitate the development of conflict resolution mechanisms. The approach will enable the communities prevent further conflict. The reason is that, if the tools are not available, then the tension existing among members of the communities may result in vigilante retributive justice, which account for the further conflict.
In conclusion, the legal system ensures fairness for parties. It considers both the rule of law, and law of equity to ensure justice and reintegrate for both victims and an offender. To the offenders, the legal system should prosecute both perpetrators and low-level offenders. The reason is to foster consistency to the rule of law and judicial system. Additionally, it is fundamental to satisfying victims’ need for justice. In the case where atrocities are significant, and the judicial system lacks the capacity, the international community can assist in developing healing and reconciliation programs. Additionally, they should establish conflict resolution mechanism to prevent future atrocities.
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