Maroon Justice in Suriname: Pasts and presents worth fighting for (Seminar)

dinsdag 20 september 2022Plaats in agenda
12:30 tot
Room MM.01.185, Thomas van Aquinostraat 4, Campus, RU Nijmegen

Tuesday 20 September 2022, 12:30-13:30, Room MM.01.185, Thomas van Aquinostraat 4, Campus Radboud University, Nijmegen, Diversity & Inequality lunch seminar, by Paul Mutsaers (CAOS) and Sabine de Vries, Institute for Social Sciences Research (IMWO), Anton de Kom University of Suriname.

When taking the pulse of the restorative justice (RJ) literature one can easily conclude that Maroon societies are seriously understudied in this field, which is odd considering their age- old struggle against retributive justice systems. Precisely because the rise of Maroons can be understood as an attempt to ‘reappropriate conflict’ and bring back the law to formerly enslaved African-Americans who had been subjected to the crudest of laws under colonial regimes, we should not forget that history when considering how RJ can contribute to or replace criminal justice systems in the 21st century. This article focuses on Suriname, where a renewed interest in the Maroons has recently boosted the RJ movement. Against the background of a discussion between ‘maximalists’ and ‘abolitionists’, we reactivate Willem de Haan’s ‘transferability debate’ by asking if and how Maroon justice in the country’s interior can be brought to the city and help its criminal justice system to develop in RJ direction. Our answer combines 20th century anthropologists’ work on Maroon justice in Suriname with the first steps that we have taken in our own ethnography with ex-detained Maroon and Creole youth in Paramaribo and their receptiveness to hypothetical RJ measures.