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More words on words.

Daly, Kathleen
June 4, 2015

Source: (2013) Restorative Justice: An International Journal. 1(1):23-30.

My response to Christie’s words is ‘more words’, with these points. First, ‘conflicts’,
as a term, does not sufficiently encompass all that occurs in human society when individuals, groups and organisational entities seek to hurt, degrade and destroy others. We
should retain the idea of wrongs and, with it, penal law as one mechanism of response,
although not the sole mechanism. Second, I agree with Christie that the term ‘restorative
justice’ should be replaced, but not for the reasons he gives. I propose the term ‘innovative justice’, which includes a variety of justice mechanisms—administrative, civil, penal,
and those in civil society—to address wrongs. Third, I agree that reconciliation between
parties ‘in conflict’ or having been wronged should not be expected; this and related ideas, such as forgiveness and apology, are hoped-for outcomes of justice processes by
some advocates, but they are better seen as gifts, unexpected and without anticipation
of reciprocity. Fourth, ‘offender’ and ‘victim’ are problematic terms, but I do not know
how they can be easily replaced. The problem, in part, is the limits of (the English) language; and in part, finding one word to convey a temporally specific status of a person or
organisational entity. Fifth, punishment has many meanings, and it is a distasteful term
to many; but it is an evolving concept and cannot be willed away. (excerpt)


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