Source: (2007) Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology. 40(3):291-312.

This article starts from the finding that (1) in spite of the numerous publications on restorative justice, relevant others have been a limited research topic and (2) when reference is made to relevant others, their presence is almost automatically assumed to be positive. However, the prevailing penal climate that seems to be focusing on the responsibilisation of offenders, makes us question why such importance is attached to these relevant others. Combining the information deduced from restorative justice literature and three studies, the authors conclude that some criticism of restorative justice, such as offender orientation, instrumentalisation and responsibilisation, needs to be examined at the level of relevant others too, and that it is time to breach the obviousness with which they are almost automatically involved, regardless of possible pitfalls.(author's abstract)