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Mandatory Compensation Orders for Crime Victims and the Rhetoric of Restorative Justice

Warner, Kate
June 4, 2015

Source: (2003) Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology. 36(1):60-76.

Increased recognition of the need for victims of crime to be integrated into the criminal justice system and to receive adequate reparation has led, in a number of jurisdictions, to legislative measures to encourage the greater use of compensation orders. The Sentencing Act 1997 (Tas) (which came into force on 1 August 1998) went further and made compensation orders compulsory for property damage or loss resulting from certain crimes. This article shows that this measure has failed victims and argues that they have been used in the service of other ends. Mandatory compensation orders are a token gesture repackaged as restorative justice to gain public support for the administration of the criminal justice system. Ways in which compensation orders could be made more effective and the possibilities of accommodating restorative compensation into a conventional criminal justice system are explored. Author’s abstract.


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