Source: (2009) Current Issues in Criminal Justice. 21(2): 302-320.It is widely accepted in the literature on restorative justice that restorative practices emerged at least partly as a result of the recent shift towards recognising the rights of victims of crime, and increasing the involvement of victims in the criminal justice system. This article seeks to destabilise this claim. Although it accepts that there is a relationship between the emergence of a strong victims' rights movement and the emergence of restorative justice, it argues that this relationship is more nuanced, complex and contingent than advocates of restorative justice allow. (Author's abstract).