Source: (2005) Saskatchewan Law Review. 68: 153-172.

Advocates of restorative justice initiatives offer high hopes for communities where such programs operate or might operate. Restorative justice, in contrast to retributive justice, holds out the possibility of more than just punishing an offender; it seeks to restore an offender to the community. Against this background, Katherine Beaty Chiste seeks to demonstrate that a community-level mechanism for resolving disputes already exists in Canada. Indeed, she maintains that this mechanism is noteworthy both for its efficiency and for the opportunity it presents to apply restorative justice theory in a most practical manner. This mechanism is the justice of the peace. Along with many other “actorsâ€? in restorative justice – churches, nonprofits, legal professionals, community organizations, and more – the justice of the peace also functions in initiatives seeking alternative methods for resolution and restoration in response to crime. Chiste looks at the historical evolution of the justice of the peace, as well as this figure’s contemporary relevance and significance in Canadian society.