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Justifying Restorative Justice

Baehler, Karen
June 4, 2015

Source: (2007) In Gabrielle Maxwell and James H. Liu, ed., Restorative Justice and Practices in New Zealand: Towards a Restorative Society. Wellington, NZ: Institute of Policy Studies, Pp. 289-299.

“This chapter argues that the restorative society movement in its broader form (as documented in this volume) could achieve a similar sort of rapprochement in the realm of ideas and ideological justifications for policy, thereby generating a vision of justice based on the best of multiple traditions. The next section of this chapter quickly introduces key features of the dominant, so-called retributive, approach to justice in Western societies and discusses how restorative practices can operate alongside a retributive system and remedy many of its flaws. The third section briefly introduces both the relatively recent idea of justice as care and the ancient idea of clementia or mercy as an essential component of the just society, and shows how the restorative model of justice fits into these formulations as well. In drawing support and justification from both schools of philosophy, the restorative model provides clues about how these schools might be reconciled and, perhaps more importantly, about how the political ideologies associated with these schools might formulate a vision of justice based on the best of both traditions.” (Abstract)


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