Source: (2002) In, Lode Walgrave, ed., Restorative Justice and the Law. Devon, UK: Willan Publishing. Pp. 191-218.

With the advances of restorative justice in recent years, Walgrave states that it is time to consider how to incorporate it into the principles of a democratic state. The issue is how to devise the right relationship between restorative justice – with its emphasis on informal, deliberative, bottom up responses to criminal justice – and the law in a democratic state – with its emphasis on formal, external, top down control. Walgrave explores the possible nature of this relationship through the following steps. First, he highlights essential principles of the restorative option on doing justice. Second, he explains why the relationship between restorative justice and the law cannot replicate the way traditional criminal justice is legitimized. Third, he outlines a system that would guarantee democratic rights and freedoms to all parties, while also creating maximum space for informal deliberation in constructive responses to criminal offenses.