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What is restorative justice?
from the article by Matt Semansky in Dal News: Restorative justice has become a major topic of discussion this week, with the news that several of the Dal Dentistry students who were the subject of mysogynistic posts online have elected to pursue a restorative justice process under the university’s Sexual Harassment Policy. So just what is “restorative justice”? “Restorative justice is an idea that says, at its core, justice has to be about repairing or addressing the harm caused to social relationships when wrongdoing happens,” says Jennifer Llewellyn, Viscount Bennett Professor of Law at Dalhousie and an international expert in restorative justice....
Located in Restorative Justice Online Blog -- RJOB
To reform or to abolish? Christian perspectives on punishment, prison, and restorative justice
From the Ave Maria Law Review article by Jordan J. Ballor: In this Essay, I will attempt to fill in a gap in preceding studies of restorative justice by paying special attention to the religious, most specifically to the Christian, perspectives on restorative justice. I will show that it is more accurate to speak of a plurality of restorative justice movements than of a unified and univocal restorative justice movement, particularly with respect to the variety of Christian approaches. In delineating the various Christian perspectives on restorative justice, I will use as a primary litmus test the various figures’ attitudes toward government coercion and punishment, most particularly with regard to incarceration, detention, and imprisonment. Attitudes toward prison provide an excellent way to map out the restorative justice landscape.
Located in Restorative Justice Online Blog -- RJOB
Lessons in mercy: Justice and reconciliation in the aftermath of atrocities
From Daniel Philpott's article in America: It is only natural that the Catholic Church would take an interest in reconciliation. At the source and summit of Christian life is the Eucharist, the sacramental re-enactment of the event through which sin, evil and death are defeated and friendship with God and justice are restored. Is not peacebuilding an imitation of just this transformation? And does not a global wave of societies struggling to restore justice make the present moment a propitious one for the church to offer a teaching on social reconciliation, just as it has offered teachings on war, economic development and democracy in past encyclicals?
Located in Restorative Justice Online Blog -- RJOB
A needle for the restorative justice compass
from the entry by Howard Zehr on Restorative Justice Blog: Injustice occurs when people are turned into objects through relationships. Justice occurs when people are honored through relationships. So for Vaandering, what is needed in restorative justice is a concerned effort to remind us all of the following: Justice is a call to recognize that all humans are worthy and to be honored. Injustice occurs when people are objectified. The term restorative justice becomes meaningful when it refers to restoring people to being honored as human.
Located in Restorative Justice Online Blog -- RJOB
RJ Article Zehr, Howard. Restorative Justice? What's That?
Do a Google search for the phrase “restorative justice” and you will get over a million “hits” – and this for a term that was virtually nonexistent 25 years ago. Ask what it means and you may get a variety of answers. For many, it implies a meeting between victims of crime and those who have committed those crimes. A family meets with the teenagers who burglarized their home, expressing their feelings and negotiating a plan for repayment. Parents meet with the man who murdered their daughter to tell him the impact and get answers to their questions. A school principal and his family meet with the boys who exploded a pipe bomb in their front yard, narrowly missing the principal and his infant child. The family’s and the neighbors’ fears of a recurrence are put to rest and the boys for the first time understand the enormity of what they have done. (excerpt)
Located in articlesdb / articles
RJ Article Walgrave, Lode. Restorative justice potentials and key Questions.
In its modern form, restorative justice reappeared in the late seventies. Its re-emergence was based on multiple roots, in which victims' movements, communitarianism and critical criminology were the three main factors. Together with a multitude of other separate initiatives, they led to the creation of a large field now termed "restorative justice." It goes far beyond criminalizable matters. It increasingly penetrates issues of discipline in schools, neighbourhood conflicts,child welfare and protection matters, and other fields of social life. Given its diverse roots and different forms, it is not surprising that restorative does not appear as a clearly defined set of thoughts and practices. Adding to the confusion are other similar movements called transformative justice,relational justice or community justice. (excerpt)
Located in articlesdb / articles
Restorative justice considers the merits of cases not just rules…
from Lorenn Walker's entry on Restorative Justice and Other Public Health Approaches for Healing: The disturbing case of Albert Holland whose lawyer failed to adequately represent him points out a growing problem with our traditional courts: the focus on the law and rules vs. the facts and merits of particular cases in making rulings. Most American legal cases are being decided on procedure and law, “the rules,” and not on equity or the merits of cases. See Michael J. Sandel’s Democracy’s Discontent: America in Search of a Public Philosophy. The merits are about people and the particular facts about their unique experience in every conflict. Our courts should be places where people can go to find fairness and justice. Court should be a place where people know they can go to have the facts of their cases heard and considered by other people, judges, who care.
Located in Restorative Justice Online Blog -- RJOB
Justice as restoration of trust
from Howard Zehr's blog entry: ....What restorative justice offers, he says, is not so much new justice practices but a different view of crime and a new goal for justice: crime is seen as a source of harm that must be repaired. Moreover, the essential harm of crime is the loss of trust, on both interpersonal and social levels. What victims and communities need is to have their trust restored. The essential obligation of offenders is to show that they are trustworthy. The purpose of justice should be to encourage this process. The overriding goal of justice, then, ought to be the restoration of trust. The attempt to achieve this on both personal and social levels, he argues, can provide a unifying umbrella for our response to crime. Rather than replacing other, more traditional goals, it would become the overriding consideration in sentencing, providing rationales for and limits to the application of goals such as incapacitation and punishment.
Located in Restorative Justice Online Blog -- RJOB
RJ Article Richards, Kelly M. 'Rewriting history' : towards a genealogy of 'restorative justice.'
This thesis considers how ‘restorative justice’ has emerged as a legitimate response to crime. It presents the beginnings of a genealogical analysis of ‘restorative justice’ as it applies to criminal justice contexts. It comprises a ‘backwards-looking’ component, in which accepted historical accounts of ‘restorative justice’ are problematised, and a ‘forwards-looking’ component, in which a partial history of discourse of ‘restorative justice’ is presented. I conclude that these silenced discourses might be read as an incomplete and partial history of discourse of ‘restorative justice’. That is, ‘restorative justice’ ‘makes sense’ as an approach to criminal justice partly because of the credence of these discourses, upon which it relies, to some extent, for discursive legitimacy. These diverse and divergent discourses cast the ‘restorative justice’ project not as the unified and stable ‘movement’ as which it is usually portrayed, but as a fragmented and shifting phenomenon, comprised of a loose and heterogeneous assemblage of practices with variegated historical antecedents. Additionally, I conclude that some concerns raised by various scholars in the field – particularly in relation to the potential of ‘restorative practices’ to impact negatively on already marginalised and disadvantaged populations – are validated by this genealogy. (author's abstract)
Located in articlesdb / articles
File Wright, Martin. 1999. The Development of Restorative Justice. Paper for International Program on Victimization, mediation and restorative justice, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, September 1997.
This paper will show some of the origins of restorative justice, and in particular the coming together of concern for the offender and for the victim. It will describe its early development in the form of victim/offender mediation, in Canada and the United States of America. It will take examples of the way the idea has taken root in Europe, from countries which have not changed their law (England and Wales), have modified it to facilitate mediation (Germany and Spain), or have incorporated it into (juvenile) law (Austria). It will then consider the re-birth of practices, restorative or communitarian or both, in countries which happen to be members of the British Old Commonwealth: New Zealand, Australia and Canada. (But perhaps this is no coincidence, because they are all countries where an indigenous culture, including ways of handling conflict, has been overlaid by the adversarial Western tradition.) Finally the paper will summarize features of restorative justice; some partially restorative measures; ways of promoting restorative justice; and conditions to be met if it is to fulfil its promise. (excerpt)
Located in Full-Text Documents at RJ Online