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Truth and Reconciliation?

 
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Iain McKie



Joined: 08 May 2007
Posts: 938


Location: Ayr, Scotland.

PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 8:45 pm    Post subject: Truth and Reconciliation?  Reply with quote

Truth and Reconciliation?

The question is what do we want the ‘Fingerprint Inquiry Scotland’ to achieve?

Identify the incompetents and criminals – as an act of revenge - or look to the future improvement of fingerprinting as a forensic science and Scotland as a just country to live in – as an act of reconciliation and moving on.

My plea in calling for ‘truth and reconciliation’ is the latter.

It is fair to say that the pursuit of ‘truth and reconciliation’ across the world has not always been successful and that governments in particular find great difficulty with the truth. Perhaps however it is time to give truth a chance.

http://www.articlearchives.com/cr...nal-amnesty-pardons/657623-1.html

http://www.greensborotrc.org/truth_reconciliation.php

In many ways I have no doubt in my mind that some of the SCRO experts and their supporters wish they could turn the clock back but the pressures of the time to remain quiet, lie or support their colleagues determined otherwise.

As I stated at the opening session of the Inquiry this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for those who have lied to put the record straight and move on.
Quote:

‘MR MCKIE: Sir Anthony, I just want to say on behalf of Shirley and myself and our family how much we welcome this Inquiry. We believe that it will get to the truth. I feel over the years there have been lots of lies told and lots of misinformation and I believe this Inquiry can bring that to an end. I would also like to say in completion that I believe there should be, to some extent, an atmosphere of truth and reconciliation in this Inquiry and it matters more to find the truth than to be vindictive about any particular witnesses.
Thank you very much.

THE CHAIRMAN: I am grateful to you. That is very much the spirit in which I would like to conduct the Inquiry’.

Truth and reconciliation is not the soft option but it is the only option if the pain and trauma of the past 11 years is ever to be assuaged. That said it is never easy to say, “I  got it wrong”, particularly in  the secretive, unaccountable  organisational  culture  that  infects  many Scottish justice institutions where to make a mistake is bad but to admit it is even worse.

The choice is however stark. Speak the truth – and move on. Lie under oath – and potentially open up years of further trauma.
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PeterCherbi



Joined: 23 May 2007
Posts: 167


Location: Edinburgh

PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree entirely with you Iain on this - Truth & Reconciliation is the way forward, although it certainly is the hardest option for those who have helped cause injustice over many years.

If there is to be change for the better, this is the only way forward, although convincing the 'other side' of the debate will not be easy as I found myself. I still however support the idea of T&R, and what better outcome for the inquiry than to produce such a sea change for Scotland which may help undo many 'sins of the past' and allow the country to move on.
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My blog on issues of injustice in Scotland A Diary of Injustice in Scotland by Peter Cherbi

Injustice Scotland Campaign website : Injustice Scotland
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scotkaz



Joined: 28 Aug 2008
Posts: 601



PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr McKie

I applaud you,your forgiving nature and your integrity. It is the right way to go for all involved and I pray that you and your family are given the same privilege from the people who have pointed fingers and accused Shirley of doing something she did not do. And also for all the pain this has caused to you amid your family. As well as to the family of Marion Ross.

Truth and reconciliation is the way.

Peace to you and your family.
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Big Wullie



Joined: 25 Apr 2007
Posts: 5125


Location: Glasgow

PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 4:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

At least Kenneth Cloke thinks it can work

http://www.core-mediation.com/sys...rrentFiles/Visit_of_Ken_Cloke.htm

http://www.thefirmmagazine.com/ne...e_host_mediation_masterclass.html

Ken Cloke examined the challenge of exponential change and some of the sources of chronic global conflict in a world of interdependency. He pointed out that conflict is nearly always experienced interpersonally (all disputes take place between people) and yet we need to address the systemic nature of much conflict and the underlying social, organisational, economic and political causes, not just the symptoms. All conflicts possess characteristics that are similar, regardless of scale, and therefore we can adapt the techniques that work at one level to disputes at entirely different levels. Cloke referred to communication, negotiation, mediation, early intervention, community building, emotional and conflict resolution systems design skills to help to address conflict. He spoke of how to deal with resistance to change and of moving from argument to dialogue, agreeing ground rules, identifying commonalities, asking questions to elicit interests (with some brilliant examples!) and jointly defining and analysing differences in order to find collaborative solutions. As Margaret Mead said

“We are continually faced with great opportunities which are brilliantly disguised as unsolvable problems”.

Ken Cloke also ran an illuminating special session on victim offender mediation programmes, truth and reconciliation projects and restorative justice.

Kenneth Cloke's website can be found here:

http://www.kennethcloke.com/
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Lydia



Joined: 06 Nov 2008
Posts: 182



PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Should we not also consider the very basics of law in this country?  

In the beginning, this case may very well have been mistakes or even a belief that the people concerned were correct.  

I do not know enough about the system used to pass an opinion.

What about the people who lied.  If they did this on purpose, I do not believe they should be punished out of a want for revenge but if they have broken the law why should they be above the same laws members of the public must abide by.

Surely, in their position, which is the very basic of law in our country, these people work under a system of trust unparalleled in other parts of the system?  They had the ability to change the course of a person’s life.  If a person is guilty and their evidence is true and trustworthy then fine, if they lie and put a person in prison or ruin their reputation and subsequently their life then they should face in my opinion a tougher sentence as they have broken a sacred trust.

The enquiry would be a useful exercise if the future holds a trusted system, which can ensure that fingerprints used to catch and ensure the proper prosecution of people who break the law.
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We are the parents in Scotland denied justice for our children who had illegal post mortem's or had organs removed illegally at post mortem.
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Pat A. Wertheim



Joined: 23 Apr 2007
Posts: 73


Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 2:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Please forgive me if I'm wrong, but is not "Truth and Reconciliation" predicated on people coming forward and admitting their wrongdoing? Isn't that the "Truth" part of the equation? And isn't the "Reconciliation" part forgiveness and moving forward without retaliation or retribution?

I agree wholeheartedly, but it starts with Truth. Without Truth, there can be no Reconciliation.
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Pat A. Wertheim
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Iain McKie



Joined: 08 May 2007
Posts: 938


Location: Ayr, Scotland.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My thanks for the thoughtful contributions to this very important debate.

As I see it we have two main problems.

Individual experts who for their own reasons have lied and a justice system that has changed little in culture for over a century and  in which lies are countenanced if not occasionally encouraged. (See the Oscar Slater story)

http://www.google.com/search?sour...006-42,SUNA:en&q=oscar+slater

My basic stance is that given the choice I would seek to change the system rather than punish the individuals. There is nothing systems like more than to focus public  feelings of revulsion and revenge on individuals while, at best, only  tinkering at the edges of their own self interest. All too often in the past the individual has been offered up as a sacrifice for a system’s failings.

It is noticeable at the Inquiry that the Justice organisations such as the Crown Office, Police and SPSA are very much engaged in a watching brief apparently  intent on as little hands on involvement as possible. How happy they would be to see the spotlight focussed firmly on individuals tearing each other apart while they hid away in the shadows.

While I agree with Lydia that given the power they wield experts should not be above the law I am also acutely aware that unless the truth is revealed at the Inquiry  the system flaws that sanctioned those lies will only be perpetuated.

Somewhere sometime this cycle must be broken and given the trauma I and my family have experienced over the years I feel we have the right to support a ‘Truth and Reconciliation’ approach even if it means that some who have caused the harm will be protected  from the full rigours of the law.

As Pat says of course the ‘truth’ comes first and ‘reconciliation’ later. I suspect for some the former will be a step too far but I am also confident that there are those for whom the truth will be a welcome release.
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Big Wullie



Joined: 25 Apr 2007
Posts: 5125


Location: Glasgow

PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes Iain The Oscar Slater case was one of Scotlands most controversial and indeed one that changed Scots Law.

Before it there was no right of appeal and the High Court's decisions were deemed final.

There was three page article in the Scotsman only Monday there which I thought worthy of a read so I took the trouble to copy it to flickr so all could see:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/26453069@N02/3117586817/sizes/l/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/26453069@N02/3117583391/sizes/l/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/26453069@N02/3118408386/sizes/l/

10 of 11 of his grounds of appeal were rejected and it was overturned on a misdirection:

Lord Ure Said

Quote:
A man of that kind has not the presumption of Innocence in his favour said Lord Ure


It even has "William Roughead" reporting the case on the second link above

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Sincere thanks to all those who have supported Shirley and challenged miscarriages of justice on this forum.