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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
Becoming someone
by Lynette Parker Many times when I talk to people about crime and justice, the discussion centres on “those offenders” needing to be punished because of what they have done. Even victims are “others” as some want to “protect” them, others want to blame them for what happened and yet other expect them to forgive and get over it. Very rarely do we talk about human beings who have been harmed by crime or who have committed crimes.
Located in Restorative Justice Online Blog -- RJOB
RJ Article Nwogu, Nneoma V. When and Why It Started: Deconstructing Victim-Centered Truth Commissions in the Context of Ethnicity-Based Conflict.
This article argues that truth commissions as a transitional justice mechanism have fallen short of what is achievable within the context of their own aspirations, particularly with respect to cases involving ethnicity-based violence. This failure is primarily due to the structural application of the narrative process, where (1) the commissions shy away from exploring the motivations behind violent actions; (2) victims’ and perpetrators’ voices are restrained to fit into collective accounts; and (3) victims’ voices are elevated over perpetrators’ in the memory-making aspect of the commissions’ work. This article asserts that truth commissions must focus on personal narratives over grand narratives, de-essentialize the ‘victim’ and the ‘perpetrator’ and place victims’ and perpetrators’ narratives on equal footing with respect to the collective memory project. Governments must allow more time and resources for truth commissions to delve into the nuances of conflict in order to create a more feasible platform for realistic reconciliation and the possibility of enduring peace. (Author's abstract)
Located in articlesdb / articles
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
Restorative justice and large organizations as victims
from the entry on Mediation Services -- Thinking Out Loud: One of the ongoing challenges we face here at Mediation Services is how to meaningfully involve corporations and large businesses in the restorative justice process. The process is relatively clear when there is an offender and a victim – or even when there are multiple victims and/or offenders. Individuals have needs and interests and a mediator works to bring people together for meaningful and fruitful exchange. Of course, every situation is unique and demands an “out of the box” thinking in order to make any process effective for the participants. But when the “victim” is a large corporation, there are at least two unique challenges for a mediator to address:
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 Andrieu, Kora. 'Sorry for the Genocide': How Public Apologies Can Help Promote National Reconciliation
The aim of this article is to defend the politics of official apologies as part of a liberal conception of state and society. To acknowledge this is to defend a subjective conception of state legitimacy, not solely based on its objective efficiency but also on the meaning that citizens give to it and their belief in its legitimacy. I will argue that official apologies for past wrongs can be an essential component of this belief, and help building or rebuilding civic trust in the aftermath of mass atrocity. The acknowledgment of a wrongdoing, the acceptance of one's responsibility, and the expression of sorrow and regret for it can therefore appear as a reliable way to promote national reconciliation. I will show that in order to understand how pure words can provoke such an important shift, we need to `unfold' the meaning of an apology and to review our conception of reconciliation itself. Only if we consider reconciliation as the achievement of trust can apologies become part of the reconstruction process of post-conflict societies. I will draw upon a Habermassian conception of discursive solidarity to show that, rightly understood and formulated, apologies, as a form of dialogue, could become an essential norm-affirming and community-binding measure in the aftermath of mass atrocities, one compatible with a liberal project of transitional justice. (author's abstract)
Located in articlesdb / articles
RJ Article Connolly, Marie . Family group conferences in child welfare: the fit with restorative justice.
In recent decades, restorative practices have become an important aspect of service delivery in both youth justice and in the care and protection of children. Restorative justice, as an overarching term, has also been used to describe restorative practices, particularly with respect to the use of family group conferencing, across these two practice domains. There are, however, significant differences in these two areas of practice that create theoretical and philosophical tensions when attempting to incorporate them under a restorative justice banner. This article explores these tensions and concludes that while care and protection practice has restorative elements, significant differences set it apart from restorative justice. In arguing for greater clarity between the two at a theoretical and philosophical level, the paper encourages us to explore important opportunities to enrich each practice domain with the values and principles of both. (author's abstract)
Located in articlesdb / articles
RJ Article von Holderstein Holtermann, Jakob. Outlining the Shadow of the Axe—On Restorative Justice and the Use of Trial and Punishment.
Most proponents of restorative justice admit to the need to find a well defined place for the use of traditional trial and punishment alongside restorative justice processes. Concrete answers have, however, been wanting more often than not. John Braithwaite is arguably the one who has come the closest, and here I systematically reconstruct and critically discuss the rules or principles suggested by him for referring cases back and forth between restorative justice and traditional trial and punishment. I show that we should be sceptical about at least some of the answers provided by Braithwaite, and, thus, that the necessary use of traditional punishment continues to pose a serious challenge to restorative justice, even at its current theoretical best. (author's abstract)
Located in articlesdb / articles