12:00 AM, May 17, 2014 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:53 AM, March 08, 2015

War crimes trial vital for justice

War crimes trial vital for justice

Says Sultana Kamal
DU Correspondent

The war crimes trial is essential for setting an instance of justice though some people may oppose it terming it an expression of vengeance, rights activist Sultana Kamal said yesterday.
"People should realise how grievous such crimes were after the trial," she told a national seminar on "Restorative Justice in Bangladesh: Challenges and Prospects".
The seminar was organised by students and teachers of victimology and restorative justice at the Institute of Social welfare and Research of Dhaka University in the institute auditorium.
Sultana Kamal also stressed the need for entrenchment of restorative justice, which aims at repairing harms caused to victims rather than focusing on punishment of offenders.
As this process stops further spiraling of conflicts, it can help build a society free from vindictiveness, where people will respect each  other's rights, she said.
As restorative justice encompasses all forms of mediation outside court, she cautions, "We must be careful so that none can pursue individual interest in the name of mediation."
Under restorative justice, mediation can be conducted by government or non-government agencies, civil society bodies or individuals at family level.
Addressing the seminar, Dhaka University Vice Chancellor Prof AAMS Arefin Siddique said crimes like abduction, killing were on the rise in society, as people focused more on their interest instead of ethics. Restorative justice can help reduce the existing culture of impunity in the country, he added.
Islamic University VC Prof Abdul Hakim Sarker said more than 20 lakh cases were pending in different courts of Bangladesh, which might take 10 to 15 years to be cleared.



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