Source: (2001) Paper presented at the Restorative and Community Justice: Inspiring the Future conference, held in Winchester, England, 28-31 March.

In this presentation, Eric Drogin and Mark Howard highlight the ongoing debate in the United States concerning the role of courts in developing and applying restorative justice principles in criminal cases. They do so in the context of the larger debate about judicial activism. Judicial activism has been defined as the use of judicial power to second-guess the policy determinations of the legislative branch of government. Some people – both proponents and detractors of restorative justice – cite restorative justice as an example of judicial activism. Drogin and Howard review the debate about judicial activism and examine its impact upon the role of judges in relation to restorative justice initiatives.