Source: (1998) European Journal of Crime, Criminal Law and criminal Justice. 6(2):125-139.

An analysis of the arguments on which the scepticism is based shows that the main deficiency of the idea of restorative justice lies in its incapacity to deal with normative, especially legal arguments. Restorative justice is mostly presented as an alternative which stresses the great and hardly refutable attractiveness of the ideas of mutual understanding, reconciliation, peace and humanity. In modern Western societies, however, the criminal justice system has specific functions and works on certain premisses -- protection of the weak, search to truth, equality before the law, to name but a few -- which are often not respected enough by proponents of the restorative justice concept. It therefore seems advisable to once again ascertain the theoretical bases of the idea of restorative justice. (excerpt)