IRRC No. 322

Restoring a just order in post-conflict situations in the light of the social teachings of the Catholic Church

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We should start by noting that, even today, not all post-conflict situations are marked by a return to true peace. A situation of latent conflict often persists, ranging from isolated hostile acts, sometimes terrorist in nature, to sporadic military operations which maintain a climate of aggressivity. In such situations, it may be hard to ensure the security conditions which are so vital to the proper functioning of justice. Effective justice is thus conditioned by an essentially political factor: without a real consensus on ending armed conflict, it is impossible to restore an order in which justice can be seen as a realistic goal. However, if there is no political will to punish those responsible for behaviour that is morally unacceptable, quite apart from being legally criminal, it will be impossible to pave the way for authentic peace.

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