Source: (2005) Ratio Juris. 18(1): 84-106.

Unquestionably, restorative justice has finally gathered some real momentum. It has become a sine qua non topic in many national and international policy and statutory agendas. However, as the restorative practice expands to deal with crimes, ages and situations it has never addressed before (at lease in it contemporary version), and as its application starts to make sense not only national but also to regional and international bodies and fora, new theoretical problems are posed. In the fast-growing literature many theories and Schools have been evoked to support RJ’s claims. This paper will take the discussion a step back by looking at questions of meta-theoretical character. In particular, the paper will ask: Does RJ have a place in the “world of theories,” and if it does, then what kind of theory is it and on what level should it be placed? Second, does RJ theory need a philosophy, and why? Finally, how can restorative practices be morally justified? (Author’s abstract)