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Restoration and Retribution

Duff, Antony
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. 43-60.

Antony Duff in this paper seeks to reconcile the controversy over restorative and retributive justice. In essence, he contends that it is not necessary to choose one of the two paradigms to the exclusion of the other, as proponents of each side seem at times to argue. He maintains that restorative theorists are correct in insisting that responses to crime should be restorative, and that retributive theorists are right in seeking to bring offenders to suffer the punishments they deserve. Yet, says Duff, both sides to the controversy are wrong in supposing that restorative aims and retributive aims are incompatible. Restoration is not only compatible with retribution; it requires retribution. That is, the kind of restoration made necessary by crime can only be brought about through retributive punishment. In pursuing this “reconcilingâ€? alternative, Duff notes that there are genuine contrasts between restorative justice and retributive justice, especially with respect to what actually goes on in their respective programs. Also, proponents of each perspective often advance conceptions of their own paradigm that genuinely preclude the other paradigm. However, Duff’s essential point is that there is a coherent alternative in which restorative and retributive paradigms can be compatible.


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