Source: (-0001) Unpublished paper

In its best form, Transitional Justice should be restorative in nature. The field of Restorative Justice as an academic discipline and as a global practice movement is relatively young (early 1970s) with its contemporary origins rooted in experiments in alternative criminal diversion in Canada. However, in many ways it is simply a re-enactment of ancient practices of justice not too far distant in each of our own cultural traditions, but eclipsed by our current Western justice system. Restorative Justice is concerned with right relationships and the revitalization of community and collective harmony after a breach of violence. It is a justice that demands accountability (recognizing the harm and taking responsibility), making clear that no act that destroys human dignity goes unnoticed. However, along with this accountability it creates an avenue for reconstruction (equalizing power and addressing future intentions through restitution, reparations and reconciliation). Instead of a justice system that is obsessed with apportioning blame and shame, and administering pain and isolation, restorative justice seeks to heal the harms of victims, rehabilitate offenders and reintegrate both of them into community networks of support as a safeguard of justice. It is simple, but never easy. (excerpt)


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