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Commentary: Let us not lose sight of the goal.

Picard, Cheryl
June 4, 2015

Source: (1995) Update: The Church Council on Justice and Corrections. (Fall): 11. Ottawa, Canada.

One might be attempted to applaud the growth of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in Canada and the recent state interest in informal and restorative justice process. After all, is this not what many of us have been working for over the last 20 years? I would like to think so. However, I find myself becoming wary.

Why should we be leery of the interest in ADR shown by institutions such as the Canadian Bar and Department of Justice? For me, it is because I see this “new wave” of state santionated initiatives being driven by self-interest and a need to reclaim legitimacy to the exclusion of broader social justice goals. We must ensure that the implementation of informal process not only support cost reduction and expediency, but more importantly seel to preserve personal growth and social justice. The key to restorative justice rests in its social and political content. (excerpt)


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