Source: (2006) Papers presented at the Fourth Conference of the European Forum for Restorative Justice, “Restorative justice: An agenda for Europe”, Barcelona, Spain, 15-17 June 2006.

Restorative justice is obviously an attractive concept. So called restorative justice practices are being implemented far beyond the field of criminalizable matters, such as in schooldiscipline, neighbourhood conflicts, or in peacemaking and peacebuilding. However, it needs deeply different actions and even different expertise, for example, to bring a victim and an offender of a burglary together to find a constructive solution which is satisfying for both protagonists, to set up meetings with representatives of population groups as a pathway towards reconciliation after a period of systematic mutual violence and gross violations of human rights, or to try and find a peaceful way of living together in a conflictuous neighbourhood. And still, these practices all are called ‘restorative justice’. What is common to them? (excerpt)