Source: (2003) Paper presented in the International Seminar on Restorative Justice, at Peshawar, Pakistan, 16-19 December. Downloaded 14 October 2005.

The concept of restorative justice provides us a guideline to reassess and reexamine some of the social and legal structures prevalent in the post colonial societies where traditional justice and conflict resolution processes have been replaced by modern legal systems. The principals of restorative justice take us out of crime-punishment syndrome, which is so typical of the present day legal systems. Ultimately, restorative justice shifts the focus of legal processes from the offender to the victim. Beyond this, RJ guides us to identify means to rehabilitate both the victim and equally so the offender as well as the community. It thus leads us to a state where Justice is defined not as a process of crime and punishment only, but also gives us an opportunity to try to undo, as mush as possible the injustice done to the victim. In the process, the needs of the offender are kept well in mind such that a sustainable reconciliation is made possible. In the paper, we will try to explain the concepts of restorative justice in a little detail. Those will then be compared with the elements of Jirga, the Pukhtoon tribal institution. Looking at the present day local government system in our country, we will try to explore the system of administration of Justice with particular reference to Jail laws and see what opportunities we might have to advance the principles of RJ with in the given parameters. (excerpt)