Source: (2002) Paper presented at the conference, Modernising Criminal Justice - New World Challenges, London, 16-20 June. Downloaded 2 November 2005.

Fred McElrea has been a judge in New Zealand for many years. From his experience, he advocates for a cultural change in criminal justice toward restorative justice. Restorative justice would provide a better deal for victims, hold offenders accountable in meaningful ways, and increase the involvement of communities in conflict resolution processes. He does not present restorative justice as a fringe solution only for juveniles or certain types of crimes. He sees it as a set of ideas and practices that can change the entire “flavor” or character of justice. In this paper, then, McElrea interweaves old and new strands of his years of writing about restorative justice. Starting from his experiences in New Zealand, he reflects on the following: distinctive elements of restorative justice; examples from different countries; and restorative justice in relation to victims, families, the nature of the human person, the state, fairness, punishment, communities, prisons, and the police.


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