Transitional and Generational Justice: Children Involved in Armed Conflicts

Chapter
Part of the Springer Series in Transitional Justice book series (SSTJ, volume 4)

Abstract

The debate between restorative and retributive justice has never been felt so strongly than in relation to the crimes perpetrated by children in armed conflicts in Africa. The society in which these children have perpetrated the crimes demands justice in the form of punishment. For the victims, children, alike adults, have taken part in the commission of a range of atrocities and therefore ought to face the might of lady Justice. In contrast, the international community, especially the United Nations, is loath to put these children to trial. No individual who at the time of the commission of the crime was below 18 years of age has been prosecuted in an international criminal tribunal. This chapter explores what would be the result of the trial of a child soldier in order to find out whether such a trial would promote transitional and generational justice, bringing together the society at large. In this quest particular attention is paid not only to the legal but also to the political and sociological framework.

Keywords

Child soldier International criminal law Retributive justice War crimes Special Court for Sierra Leone 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Business and LawUniversity of the West of EnglandBristolUK

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