Confronting exclusion: Time for radical reconciliation
from the report by Kim Wale:
The 2013 South African Reconciliation Barometer (henceforth SARB or Reconciliation Barometer) Report pays closer attention to the relationship between reconciliation, inequality and exclusion. It posits that reconciliation becomes difficult when social divisions are the result of unequal power relations that are being perpetuated in society. Reconciliation, exclusion and inequality are intimately tied to one another. More often than not an imbalance in power results in the material, symbolic, political and social exclusion of marginalised sectors of society.
South Africa: Judging Ubuntu and Africanisation of the Child Justice Act
from the article by Khunou Samuel Freddy on All Africa.com:
The attention for the child justice system in the new South Africa has not only been inspired by the new constitution-based rights of children in conflict with the law, but also international law and the general principles of ubuntu and jurisprudence of African traditional justice.
In compliance with the precepts of international law and the 1996 Constitution, the national parliament promulgated the Child Justice Act 75 of 2008 (CJA) to establish a criminal justice system for children.
The CJA also expands on and entrenches the principles of restorative justice. Previously in South Africa, the Children's Protection Act 25 of 1913 (CJ) was the embodiment of the trend towards child justice. This act permitted the presiding officer to decline to continue with a criminal trial against a child and to then commit the child to a government industrial school.
Baraza Peace Courts: ensuring fair and non-punitive justice in DRC
from the article by Alana Poole on Insight on Conflict:
Riding out through the bush on the back of a motorbike under the sweltering midday African sun, I am once again struck by the sheer determination and courage of my Congolese colleagues from Foundation Chirezi (FOCHI), who sustain their peacebuilding work in extremely challenging environments. FOCHI is a small, local, peacebuilding organisation, working across the territories of Uvira, Fizi, and Ruzizi Plain in South Kivu, eastern DR Congo.
Their primary focus is to ensure accessible, fair and non-punitive justice to those living in rural villages, communities for whom the legal system neither works effectively nor in its best interests, and in which conflicts can quickly turn violent.
African women mobilize to build peace
….Women from Mozambique described ways they are working to create a culture of peace in their country after years of war.
“Since the signing of the peace agreement in 1992, we can live in peace,” Rute Uthui of United Methodist Women of Mozambique said through an interpreter. “In the church since last year we always talk about peace and the maintaining of peace on the radio and in the news. Our women’s group meets every Thursday, and we never walk out without talking about peace and what we can do to maintain it.
"We are facing now criminality. When those people are caught, some want to beat them, but we say, talk to them—punish them according to what they’ve done—but not the violence, talk to them about peace.”
Kenya: The quest for restorative justice – analysis
In recent assessments it has emerged that young people are contributors to certain types of violence in Kenya. It has been argued that young people “are being used” to perpetrate violence.
Asked why this is the case, some government administrative staff indicate unemployment as one factor, followed by idleness and substance abuse. Faith-based clerics, meanwhile, point to manipulation, a lack of gainful employment and easy money.
Asked why they themselves participate in acts of violence, young people point out that they have lack meaningful sources of livelihoods, and do anything they can to relieve themselves of the uncertainty they face.
Sudan: UNAMID supports the promotion of juvenile restorative justice in Zalingei
from the article on All Africa:
The African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) concluded on 30 January 2013 a two-day workshop on restorative justice for juvenile offenders in Zalingei, Central Darfur. The workshop, which was attended by more than 32 participants, including teachers, police officers, civil servants and members of the civil society, was part of the efforts of the UNAMID's Human Rights Section to strengthen the capacity of the juvenile justice system players in applying restorative justice standards more effectively when dealing with children and young people in conflict with the law.
The gods are angry
....There are more than 2,000 African ethnic groups but despite the incredible diversity there are striking commonalities among them. Whereas Western jurisprudence emphasizes punishing the guilty, the widespread African tradition stresses restitution and reconciliation or "restorative justice"—the basis of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commissions established after the dismantling of Apartheid.
Africa's economic heritage featured free village markets. There were rudimentary free markets in Timbuktu, Kano, Salaga, Onitsa, Mombasa and elsewhere before the advent of the colonial era.
Whereas the West practiced majoritarian, or representative, democracy, ancient Africans practiced participatory democracy, where decisions were taken by consensus at village meetings variously called asetena kese by the Ashanti, ama-ala by the Igbo, guurti by the Somali, dare by the Shona, ndaba by the Zulu or kgotla by the Tswana.
Mediating criminal matters in the Ethiopian criminal justice system: The prospect of restorative justice
In Ethiopia, the use of mediation process as a traditional method of dispute resolution has been practiced for centuries. Even today in rural areas, particularly criminal dispute resolution processes dealing with victims and criminal offenders are widely practiced and deep rooted with varying degrees among the different ethnic groups in the country. For instance, the use of mediation process through Jaarsaa Biyya or Jaarsaa Araara among the Oromo and the other ethnic groups has been used.
Gacaca: A successful experiment in restorative justice?
....The twofold reparative function of restorative justice is, however, crucial and so the extent to which gacaca’s emphasis on ‘truth-telling’ realised its desired outcome is subject to debate. To draw on Johnstone’s conception of restorative justice once again, the fact that gacaca failed to offer something positive, in the form of compensation, to meet the needs of the victims meant part of its reparative function was undermined.
Rwanda: Kagame commends Gacaca courts
The 1994 Genocide against the Tutsis and its aftermath, said president Kagame, presented us with challenges that tested us all to limit. Among these challenges was redress for victims, perpetrators' accountability for their crimes and restoring harmony among Rwandans.
While Rwanda could have chosen the path of vengeance, or of general amnesty, Kagame said the people had chosen the hard but best way of justice and reconciliation. That is a victory to celebrate, he said on Monday during the official closing of the participative justice of Gacaca courts which started in June 2002.