Source: (2012) Paper presented at the 1st International Symposium on Restorative Justice and Human Rights. 2-7 June 2012, Skopelos Island, Greece.

The successes claimed for Restorative Justice are usually in relation to a single meeting and we will examine whether this is can be the sole basis for behavioural change and healing, or what other forces may be at work. I will use with the effects and emotions reported by the participants of RJ as a platform to explore the human traits that may have been brought into operation by restorative processes. In particular whether RJ works through our affinity to reciprocal altruism as a successful conflict resolution strategy for individuals, kin and group. If there is a sound, scientific basis for restorative practice then there may be implications for the future development and practice of restorative justice, for the practitioner, the criminal justice system and legal policy makers. It could be that the presence of an evolutionary inheritance for mediated settlements implies that its provision becomes a “human right” and therefore an entitlement. Likewise, if RJ is a compelling an answer to criminal behaviour should it be imposed, on all concerned? (author's abstract)