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Restorative justice and the human rights of offenders: Convergences and divergences.

Ward, Tony
June 4, 2015

Source: (2008) Aggression and Violent Behavior. 13(5): 355-372.

Restorative justice has gained significant momentum as a justice reform movement within the
past three decades, and it is estimated that up to one hundred countries worldwide utilize
restorative justice practices. Although claims about the role of restorative justice in protecting
human rights are repeatedly made in the restorative justice literature, they are seldom
supported by empirical evidence or a thorough analysis of human rights and their justification.
In this paper, we discuss how the assumptions underpinning restorative justice practices
impact on offenders’ human rights, and their points of convergence and divergence. We argue
that while these assumptions can protect certain offender rights, they may violate others. We
finish with some suggestions about how to reconcile the tensions between human rights and
restorative justice, focusing in particular on the relationship between community needs and
individual well-being. (Author’s abstract)


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