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Punishment and restorative justice: an ethical comparison

Wright, Martin
June 4, 2015

Source: (2007) In Robert Mackay, Marko Bosnjak, Johann Deklerck, Christa Pelikan, Bas van Stokkom, and Martin Wright, ed., Images of Restorative Justice Theory. Frankfurt, Germany: Verlag fur Polizeiwissenschaft. Pp. 168-184.

“In comparing punishment and restorative justice, this chapter will consider definitions, and two kinds of justifications: instrumental and symbolic. It will show that punishment and restorative justice are based on different psychological principles, and different axioms. The questions is asked how a ‘pure’ restorative system would respond to certain problems, such as enforcement, and protection of the public; the concepts of ‘natural consequences’ and ‘protective use of force’ are proposed, but questions remain: how long should they last? Do restorative responses have to be ‘burdensome’, and if so do they cross the line separating them from punishment? An attempt is made to weigh the two philosophies in an ethical balance.” (abstract)


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