Source: (1999) Paper presented at the Examining the Issues conference. Belfast, Northern Ireland: Restorative Justice Ireland Network.

In this essay Wilkinson comments on the status of restorative justice theory and practice in the highly charged atmosphere of Northern Ireland. He contends that the debate on restorative justice in Northern Ireland has less to do with the substance of this justice paradigm and more to do with political posturing by various, competing groups. Hence, he believes that the true potential of restorative justice for the region has been seriously damaged. Nevertheless, he sees glimmers of hope in certain “conversationsâ€? taking place over issues related to community-based responses to criminal behavior and other wrongdoing.

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