Source: (2004) The Good Society. 13(1): 28-31.

Restorative justice is a process where all the stakeholders affected by an injustice have an opportunity to discuss how they have been affected by the injustice and to decide what should be done to repair the harm. With crime, restorative justice is about the idea that because crime hurts, justice should heal. It follows that conversations with those who have been hurt and with those who have afflicted the harm must be central to the process. Empirically it happens to be the case that victims of crime are more concerned about emotional than material reparation (Strang, 2003). Lawyers are obviously not well placed to give an account of these emotional harms and how they might be healed. Hence, the practice of restorative justice has become a de-professionalizing project. Yet we will see that lawyers still have an important, though decentred, place in a restorative justice system. (excerpt)