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Education, Truth, Reconciliation: Comment on Scheff

Braithwaite, John
June 4, 2015

Source: (1998) Revista Juridica Universidad de Puerto Rico. 67: 609.

In this article, John Braithwaite comments on Tom Scheff’s contribution to the dialogue between restorative justice and therapeutic jurisprudence. (Cf. Scheff, Thomas J. 1998. Community conferences: Shame and anger in therapeutic jurisprudence. Revistica Juridica Universidad de Puerto Rico 67: 95.) For example, Scheff’s work on the core sequence of restorative justice, symbolic reparation, and shame in conferences has been creative and seminal. At the same time, Scheff has argued that mediation is not useful for truth-finding; a court trial is necessary when facts are in dispute. Indeed, Scheff shows many of the ways in which restorative justice fails to live up to its promise. The key, concludes Braithwaite, is to learn from these failures to increase the potential of restorative justice for truth as well as crime control.


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