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Reparation, Retribution, and Rights

Cavadino, Michael
June 4, 2015

Source: (2002) Ch. 7.5 In, Andrew von Hirsch and Andrew Ashworth, eds., Principled Sentencing. Readings on Theory and Policy. Oxford: Hart Publishing. P. 348-358.

At the outset of this article, Cavadino and Dignan assert their belief that it is possible to imagine a criminal justice system in which reparation plays a large part but which still adheres to a fairly strict system of proportionality. They call this imagined system the ‘Strictly Proportional Composite’ model. The system they thus describe would fit well with a just deserts approach but would still be a vast improvement on current criminal justice, so they say. Yet, however much of an improvement it would be, it would not be their preferred system. Rather, Cavadino and Dignan propose and describe an ‘Integrated Restorative Justice’ model as their system of choice. It is an attempt to put human rights theory into practical penal form. They contend that human rights theory provides the basis for a principled compromise between retributivism and reparation or restorative justice. This, they maintain, would make possible the striking of a fairer balance between the interests of victims, offenders, and ordinary law-abiding citizens.


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