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Restorative justice and responsive regulation: The question of evidence.

Braithwaite, John
June 4, 2015

Source: (2014) RegNet Research Paper No. 2014/51. Available at SSRN: or

Restorative justice is a way of selecting strategies to respond to challenges like healing the hurts of crime. Empathic empowerment of stakeholders who take turns to speak in a circle are at the heart of its strategy for strategy selection. Restorative justice can complement responsive regulation. Indeed responsive regulation probably works best when restorative justice is a first preference at the base of a pyramid of strategies. Responsive regulation involves listening and flexible (responsive), deliberative choice among strategies that are arranged in a pyramid. At the bottom of the pyramid are more frequently used strategies of first choice that are less coercive, less interventionist, cheaper. The evidence is encouraging that restorative justice and responsive regulation work better than less flexible, less dynamic top-down state decision making. The effectiveness of restorative justice and responsive regulation depends mainly, however, on the efficacy of the intervention strategies that are responsively chosen. It is time to redirect R&D efforts to improving the quality of restorative and responsive strategy selection. (author’s abstract)


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