Back to RJ Archive

Dealing with the Legacy of Native Residential School Abuse in Canada: Litigation, ADR, and Restorative Justice

Llewellyn, Jennifer J.
June 4, 2015

Source: (2002) University of Toronto law Review. 52:253-300.

Recently, a number of civil litigation suits have been filed in Canada against the federal government and four major Christian churches by former students of Canadian Native residential schools. Abuse and other harms in the residential schools are alleged. Jennifer Llewellyn states that litigation has proven problematic as a mechanism to respond to the abuse and other harms. The suits place a significant burden on the court system and threaten to bankrupt the relevant Church organizations. Hence, some of those involved have turned to “alternative dispute resolutionâ€? (ADR) mechanisms to respond to the issues through means other than litigation. Llewellyn believes that ADR mechanisms cannot provide an appropriate resolution to claims concerning the residential schools. She argues that restorative justice provides a new and better lens through which meaningful alternatives can be envisioned for dealing with the residential school situation in Canada.


Support the cause

We've Been Restoring Justice for More Than 40 Years

Your donation helps Prison Fellowship International repair the harm caused by crime by emphasizing accountability, forgiveness, and making amends for prisoners and those affected by their actions. When victims, offenders, and community members meet to decide how to do that, the results are transformational.

Donate Now