Transitional Justice. Taking Account of the Past - Transitional justice refers to the admission of wrongdoing, the recognition of its effects and the acceptance of responsibility for those effects. It provides an alternative to vengeance and a measure of accountability for the perpetrators and justice for the victims by establishing truth. The article considers the different ways of taking account of the past (from direct retaliation to amnesty, from prosecution of perpetrators responsible for large-scale state brutality to public discussion about human rights abuse and shaping of collective memory) and focuses the emergence of the paradigma of restorative justice. In amending tragic historical immoralities, restitution, reparation, apology, and reconciliation replace a universal comprehensive standard of criminal justice with a negotiated justice among opposing parties in specific cases. Drawing on the discussion of some recent studies (Teitel, Elster, Barkan, Frei, Koenig) concerning the role of criminal trials, lustration policies and truth commissions in democratic transitions, the article attempts to outline even broader conclusions about a theory of transitional justice.