Source: (2000) Ottawa: Law Commission of Canada. Downloaded 13 January 2005.

Can the idea of transformative justice better shape how law recognizes diverse social relationships, conceives communities as areas of shared interest, and reconciles the competing demands of individual identity and group identities? In Canada’s socio-demographically diverse society, more people are identifying themselves both as members of society as a whole and as members of groups and communities. They are finding recognition and purpose in the groups and communities with which they choose to be associated, or to which they are assigned by others. In this they acknowledge how much their personal identity is made up of identities formed in relationships with others. Modern law deals uneasily with these overlapping identities. It focuses on individuals and takes a narrow view of which group identities and communal relationships are legitimate. Only rarely do legal concepts even recognize group identity as an element of personal identity. Especially where community membership and affiliation reflect cultural differences, Canadian law has difficulty both in providing equal access to justice and in responding to alternative visions of what justice entails. (excerpt)

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