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Restorative Justice and Criminal Justice: Just Responses to Crime?

Shapland, Joanna
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. 195-218.

In her chapter Joanna Shapland focuses on restorative justice in its legal and structural context and, hence, in its relation to criminal justice. This is not so much a consideration of the philosophy of restorative justice, its potential if it were fully implemented, or the benefits it might bring. It is more an emphasis on the ways in which restorative justice has been implemented and is likely to be implemented, given the legal and institutional framework of current justice systems. Thus she considers concretely the opportunities and barriers shaping the development of actual restorative schemes. This inevitably means comparison of restorative justice with current criminal justice systems, especially in that restorative justice is often portrayed by its proponents as new and different. With all of this in view, Shapland examines three major issues: the extent to which restorative justice is different from “traditionalâ€? criminal justice; the extent to which restorative justice schemes are intended as replacements for “traditionalâ€? justice; and the perspective from which we should be considering and evaluating restorative justice and the potential for its implementation. Only through consideration of these issues can there be any resolution of the kinds of justice constraints which restorative justice needs to guarantee before it can be seen as justice.


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