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Modes of criminal justice, Indigenous youth and social democracy.

Hearfield, Colin
June 4, 2015

Source: (2012) Conference Proceedings Crime, Justice and Social Democracy: An International Conference.2nd edition.

The political question of how the will of a community is to be democratically formed and
adhered to, the question of social democracy, is normatively tied to the mode of criminal
justice employed within that democratic public sphere. Liberal, republican, procedural and
communitarian forms of democratic will-formation respectively reflect retributive,
restorative, procedural and co-operative modes of criminal justice. After first elaborating
these links through the critical response of republican and procedural theories of
democracy to the liberal practice of democratic will-formation and its retributive mode of
justice, our discussion considers the recent practice of restorative and procedural justice
with respect to Indigenous youth; and this in the context of a severely diminished role for
Indigenous justice agencies in the public sphere. In light of certain shortcomings in both
the restorative and procedural modes of justice, and so too with republican and procedural
understandings of the democratic public sphere, we turn to a discussion of procedural
communitarianism, anchored as it is in Dewey’s notion of social co-operation. From here
we attempt a brief formulation of what a socially co-operative mode of justice might
consist of; a mode of justice where historically racial and economically coercive injustices
are sufficiently recognised. (author’s abstract)


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