Source: (2002) In, Lode Walgrave, ed., Restorative Justice and the Law. Devon, UK: Willan Publishing. Pp. 19-30.

In this essay, Hans Boutellier reflects on restorative justice using a definition put forth by Bazemore and Walgrave: restorative justice consists in “every action that is primarily oriented towards doing justice by restoring the harm that has been caused by a crime.â€? Thus, the acknowledgement of harm clearly includes the victim but also goes beyond to include the environment, the community, society as a whole, and even the offender. With this in mind, Boutellier explores two matters concerning restorative justice. The first deals with trying to understand the emergence of restorative justice within its social, moral, and cultural context. In other words, what has occurred in western societies that makes restorative justice increasingly appealing? The second matter follows from the first. That is, what does this explanation of the background of restorative justice suggest as to the future of restorative justice?