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Responsibility, Accountability and Democracy in Restorative Justice

Braithwaite, John
June 4, 2015

Source: (2003) Presentation to University of NSW Faculty of Law, 11 March 2003. Strategic Action. Downloaded 9 February 2004.

Restorative justice is conceived as a horizontal process of democratic deliberation that is integrated into vertical processes of accountability to courts and the rule of law. This dual horizontal-vertical integration into direct democracy and the rule of a representative democracy’s laws is an opportunity to enrich thinking about the relationship between responsibility and accountability in a democracy. Responsibility is conceived here as an obligation to do some right thing; accountability as being answerable to give a public account of some thing. The restorative justice ideal of responsibility is active responsibility as a virtue, the virtue of taking responsibility, as opposed to passive responsibility we are held to. The restorative justice method for engendering active responsibility is to widen circles of accountability. (excerpt)


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