Source: (2002) In, Lode Walgrave, ed., Restorative Justice and the Law. Devon, UK: Willan Publishing. P. xv-xix.

As Walgrave points out in his introduction, some have argued that the best reform of penal law is not better penal law but something better – that is, something other than and better than penal law. That is the underlying theme of this book, that restorative justice can point toward the something better. Nevertheless, it is uncertain to what extent in the future restorative justice may or may not replace formal, penal criminal justice. Against this background – and with restorative justice evolving beyond its research and development phase, according to Walgrave – there is an urgency in considering how to place restorative justice within an adequate legal framework. This book, then, represents a response to that urgent need.