chapter  3
Introducing Justice
Pages 19

This book has, so far, established the ways in which torture has been historically used as an instrument of power by states and their allies. Those individuals and groups who become targets for torture also tend to be socially, politically, or culturally devalued; they are individuals that are deemed to have a lesser, or sometimes no, status in humanity. Torture also connects with wider injustices as the ways in which individuals are targeted for torture, and the possibilities for victims to deal with their violation, are deeply linked to their structural location as well as to their personal history and experience. Given these routes to, and repercussions of torture, this chapter focuses on how justice for victims of such violations might be approached. What might justice mean for torture victims? The dominant sense of jus-

tice is one that is usually linked to the arrest, prosecution, and punishment of the offender. Certainly, the criminal justice processing of torturers remains one of the vital aims of campaigning by victims, their families, and representatives. Victims want their suffering to be formally recognized by the criminal justice system in the same way that other victims of ‘domestic crime’ (such as burglary, car theft, or assault) might be. However, many victims aspire to a more complex form of justice, one that also addresses their social needs and places them as participants in future actions. Drawing from the work of Nancy Fraser (1997, 2003, 2005), this chapter

argues that victims of torture can suffer three forms of long-term injustice: the first is cultural or symbolic (in the socially devalued representation, nonrecognition, or misrecognition of victims); the second is structural1 (in the economic, gendered, ‘raced’, or age-based exploitation, marginalization, or deprivation); and the third is participatory or representational (in the exclusion of victims from democratic decision-making processes and activities). These forms of injustice often combine and reinforce each other: they are linked to which individuals or groups become victims to torture; they underpin the opportunities available to victims to have their suffering or their perpetrators recognized; and, they contextualize prospects for criminal or social justice.