Source: (2009) Contemporary Readings in Law and Social Justice. 1(1): 115-162.

The aim of this paper is not merely an exploration of the practice of restorative justice, but rather an examination of the radical re-visioning of criminal justice specifically and legal discourse generally toward which restorative justice gestures. Restorative justice imagines, and seeks to bring about, a system of justice which is responsive to the vicissitudes and dynamism that characterize individual experiences of crime. In order to do this, it re-imagines what the priorities of a system of criminal justice should be by inverting the priorities of traditional legal discourse. Whereas the traditional Western legal discourses of justice theory and utilitarianism, or efficiency, emphasize the so-called public interests triggered by crime, restorative justice emphasizes the private interests that go largely unaddressed in the criminal justice system as it exists today. (Excerpt)