The arrest of Gerry Adams, the President of Sinn Féin, on allegations that he was involved in the abduction and killing of Jean McConville in 1972 has caused quite the stir. Many are wondering what the implications of Adams’s arrest will be for Northern Ireland’s peace process. The crux of the debate concerns the relationship and tensions between maintaining peace and achieving justice. I wrote the article below for the Globe and Mail who were gracious enough to allow me to repost it, in its entirety, here.
Jean McConville and three of her ten children.
Peace is a process. It takes time and, because it tends to be fragile, it requires careful cultivation. At the same time, communities increasingly expect that peace will allow for mechanisms to achieve justice. Without prosecuting those responsible for human rights violations and atrocities, peace is often seen as somehow incomplete.
This week, the expectations of cultivating peace and…