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Restorative Conferences with Serious Juvenile Offenders: An Experiment in Belgium

Walgrave, Lode
June 4, 2015

Source: (2003) Paper presented at Building a Global Alliance for Restorative Practices and Family Empowerment, Fourth International Conference on Conferencing, Circles and other Restorative Practices, set for 28-30 August, 2003. Downloaded 11 September 2003.

From Lode Walgrave’s perspective, restorative justice is characterized by its aim of restoration of the harm caused by crime and not by the process which typically favors restorative outcomes. Restorative justice in this definition is goal-oriented not process-oriented. Thus Walgrave’s perspective differs from many other restorative justice proponents who see voluntary deliberative processes in an informal context as the key to restorative justice. Walgrave’s point is that the processes do not have intrinsic legitimacy but derive their value from the outcomes they aim for and help to produce. Thus the aim or goal is the key to restorative justice; processes have value insofar as they pursue and enable a restorative aim or goal. That being said, Walgrave sees deliberative processes as crucial tools for restorative justice. This leads to his examination of a conferencing experiment in Belgium to deal with serious juvenile offenders.


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