Source: (2003) Criminal Law Forum. 14: 385–419.On 22 July 2003, the United Kingdom government released its first national strategy document on restorative justice, officially recognising in this way the new paradigm’s potentials of improving the current punitive criminal justice system. In the final pages of the document, the Home Office listed a number of consultation questions requesting advice from practitioners and theoreticians in the field on what they consider critical issues in restorative justice’s current application and future development. This paper is written in response to these questions, and has used the results of a qualitative study that started in June 2002 and has just been completed. Author's abstract.