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“Restorative justice and the republican theory of criminal justice: An exercise in normative theorizing on restorative justice.”

Walgrave, Lode
June 4, 2015

Source: (2000) In Restorative justice: Philosophy to practice, ed. Heather Strang and John Braithwaite, 165-183. Burlington, Vermont, U.S.: Ashgate Publishing Company.

Not surprisingly, restorative justice theorists and practitioners tend to emphasize psycho-social and ethical elements as against legal elements. Skeptical of formal juridical procedures, they aim to promote informal and voluntary participation and interaction in criminal justice processes, with some proponents even seeing free and voluntary participation in restorative processes as a satisfying replacement for legal safeguards. Walgrave argues in response that restorative justice proponents must combine maximal informalism with maximal legal guarantees for the rights and freedoms of all participants. Hence, he proposes a coercive justice system oriented towards justice through restoration. In this regard, Walgrave discusses deontological and consequentialist foundations for legal theories on criminal justice, restoring the harm to dominion (cf. republican theory of society) as the target of restorative criminal justice, and the constraints on a restorative criminal justice system derived from that target.


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