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Principles of Restorative Justice

Braithwaite, John
June 4, 2015

Source: (2003) In, Andrew von Hirsch, et. al., eds., Restorative Justice and Criminal Justice: Competing or Reconcilable Paradigms? Oxford and Portland, Orgeon: Hart Publishing. Pp. 1-20.

Restorative justice, writes John Braithwaite, involves radical transformation. It is not simply a way of reforming the criminal justice system. It is a way of transforming the entire legal system, family life, conduct in the workplace, the practice of politics, and more. It is a vision of a holistic change in the way justice is done. It is about struggling against injustice in the most restorative way possible. On the basis of this radical view, Braithwaite seeks to explain the principles of such holistic restorative justice at two levels. First, he considers holism at the meta level of what sort of theory is required. As he puts the question of theory, is it a jurisprudence of restorative justice, a criminology of restorative justice, or something else? Second, he makes specific suggestions for values against which the accomplishments and disasters of restorative justice might be evaluated. In this direction, he aims to develop a method for progressively elaborating restorative justice values while also doing empirical research to illuminate the implications of such value framing.


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