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Creating Restorative Justice Systems

Van Ness, Daniel W
June 4, 2015

Source: (2002) In, Lode Walgrave, ed., Restorative Justice and the Law. Devon, UK: Willan Publishing. Pp. 130-149.

To begin this exploration of the creation of restorative systems, Daniel Van Ness points to the explosion of interest and activity in restorative justice in the last decade. Yet, he observes, there is no fully elaborated system of restorative justice in the world at this time. No jurisdiction has fully implemented restorative ideas and practices, and no person has clearly articulated how such a system would operate. Van Ness states that it is time to begin that work. Maintaining that it is possible to have degrees of restorativeness in a system, Van Ness pursues three areas in this paper. First, he describes a scheme to assess whether a system is minimally, moderately, or fully restorative. Second, he suggests a way to think about the relative roles of the state and the community in overseeing a restorative response. Third, he proposes in broad outlines a restorative system.


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