Lustration

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Lustration

 

magical religious rites which, in the minds of believers, protect against disease and other calamities.

Among many peoples supernatural cleansing power was ascribed especially to fire. It was a widespread practice to fumigate people, cattle, and dwellings with a torch lit from “live fire” (obtained by friction) and later, from candles lit in church on Thursday of Holy Week or during a wedding. The practice of lustration is also the source of the custom of jumping through fire during the night of Ivan-Kupala. The purifying effect was also ascribed to water, salt, and iron.

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Poland was recognized for its future-oriented emphasis in its early lustration policy, whereas Romania seemed more inclined towards backward-looking proposals (Petrescu 2008: 16).
However, it took three more years for a former political prisoner to draft a law on lustration and access to files and six more years for a modified draft version of it to pass the parliamentary vote.
The latter proposal belongs to the late lustration programs, imposing harsher sanctions than the previous law.
Poland was also a late-comer in what concerns the adoption of early lustration.
After a series of six other failed proposals between 1994-1996, the lustration law passed in March 1997 screened current officials and candidates for public offices for past collaboration with the SB between 1944 and 1990 by checking their statements of (non-)collaboration and punishing solely the lustration liars.
By 2006, the Law and Justice Party (LJP) proposed that the lustration scope be extended to include all public figures (teachers, journalists, diplomats, municipal officials, heads of state-owned companies, editors, publishers and school principals).
It further enables us to evaluate the justice of lustration by considering ex post the direction and distribution of benefits that an occupation provides.
The pursuit of lustration must proceed with the understanding that the institutions of transitional justice serve to underwrite--not undermine--peace in the international system.
It thus raises fundamental questions about the direction and the distribution of benefits that the institution of lustration provides.
What I term the principle of proportionality demands that the burden of lustration be balanced against the benefit's that the practice can reasonably be expected to bring.
My substitution of the less demanding goal of decency for the more demanding goal of justice in the pursuit of lustration promises to accommodate the conflicting demands of retributive justice and restorative justice.
Whereas the former raises questions about institutional design in instances where lustration has been affirmed as an institution of jus post bellum, the latter raises more fundamental questions about institutional choice, namely the appropriateness of lustration as an institution of jus post bellum in a given context.