What Is Meant by Moral Reconciliation?


Quick Answer

In its application to law and sentencing, moral reconciliation is a form of restorative justice in which wrongdoers attempt to repair the relationship between themselves and their victims and, by doing so, achieve a moral transformation. In contrast to punishment which is solely retributive or compensatory, moral reconciliation attempts to restructure the wrongdoer-and-victim relationship to one based on a workable degree of moral equality. Moral reconciliation, forgiveness and wrongdoer rehabilitation are also viewed as ideals to strive for, which may only be achieved in varying degrees depending on the parties involved.

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Full Answer

Restorative justice and moral reconciliation, in contrast to retributive justice, played a significant role in the South African post-apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) proceedings. There have been differences of opinion regarding the effectiveness of the TRC's work, but the general opinion appears to be that the varying degrees of effectiveness were the result of the specific parties involved in each case. One of the main criticisms made of the TRC proceedings was that restorative justice and moral reconciliation should not be employed as a substitute for retributive justice.

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