On 9th March 2012 the firm’s guest was professor Klaus Bachmann – historian, political scientist, essayist and former German correspondent in Poland, the author of many books about Europe, currently lecturer at the School of Social Psychology in Warsaw.
The professor offered a reflection on “The dark side of human rights – when punishment harms democracy.” During the lecture, the participants could discover that some current, as it might seem – self-evident truths about human rights and international law can have disastrous effects in certain cases. The social sense of fairness and justice can sometimes be harmful and in periods of political transition can lead to many casualties. Professor Bachmann outlined a concept known as transitional justice, in which restorative justice prevailed till the 1990s, and since then retributive justice took over, based on the settlement of the past and punishing the perpetrators.
The classic “hostage dilemma” revealed that the will to punish those responsible may be in conflict with the interests of society, and thus, that the pursuit of justice is not always rational.