Source: (2005) Prepared for Dennis Sullivan and Larry Tifft (eds.) Handbook of Restorative Justice: A Global Perspective (forthcoming, 2006). New York: Routledge. Downloaded 19 October 2005.

Kathleen Daly affirms value in restorative justice theory and practice, but she does so in a qualified manner, with a sharp eye toward theoretical and practical limits in this relatively new approach to justice. She observes that restorative justice, as advocated by many, consists of a set of ideals assuming a generous, empathetic, supportive, and rational human spirit. This may not be the case with those participating in a restorative justice process. Additionally, there may be tensions between the ideals. Hence, a restorative justice process may fall distinctly short of its promise due to realities. Furthermore, all efforts at justice are ultimately incomplete and limited; restorative justice is no exception. In this framework, Daly reflects on the limits of current restorative justice practices, with a focus on juvenile justice cases in common law jurisdictions.

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