Source: (2004) Text of an Inaugural Lecture given at The Middleton Hall, University of Hull

In this lecture I will argue that, although it has led to ‘political success’, presenting restorative justice as technique for preventing reoffending and generating victim satisfaction has undermined the chances of the restorative justice movement achieving its more important and interesting goals. I will show that restorative justice has the potential to disturb taken-for-granted assumptions about crime and justice. What restorative justice has to say about the meaning of crime and justice is of huge importance and interest, even though some of it is quite problematic. However, what it has to say is likely to be unheard in public debate, which is revolving around a very narrow understanding of restorative justice and an increasingly limited set of questions. (excerpt)