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Transitional justice is a rich area of inquiry. The literature and the academic discourse surrounding the phenomenon of transitional justice are at the forefront of human rights scholarship. Much of this discourse focuses on questions of the functional choices: restorative or retributive justice. A “restorative” approach to justice focuses on the idea of reconciliation while the “retributive” approach focuses on the punishment of perpetrators. The idea of truth telling, which encompasses truth commissions and historical memory, is most closely connected to a restorative approach to justice, although seeking the truth is also an implicit and explicit goal of criminal courts which serve a primarily retributive function.

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Notre Dame Human Rights Advocate, no. 6, p. 4-5.