Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Northern Ireland case and the sources of justice

Recently there has been a lively debate as to the decree to grant the effective amnesty to IRA terrorists still at large was morally correct. The Guardian presents strong cases against the reasoning behind this agreement that suggests, according to the Northern Ireland minister David Hanson, "Sometimes it is necessary to make difficult decisions in the interests of entrenching the benefits of peace." See Euan’s post on this. This brings us back to the question also relevant in the context of the International Criminal law (see) as to whether one should give priority to Kant’s universalist moral reasoning suggesting that there is such a thing as a universal law commonly accepted and that such a law should be respected. My, one could argue although it requires strong imprecision, post-modernist kind of morality, remains reluctant to accept such an ethical argument without reservations, and remains open to ethical arguments suggesting that justice should always take into account the political context to which it applies, emotions and the balance of force. I am not so negative towards accepting the idea of justice as we go along. Yet, as far as the Northern Irish case is concerned one has to have a particular political context in mind in order to reach a final judgement on this: did peace really require granting de facto amnesty to terrorists and does such a solution create sources of social instability for the future?

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