Back to RJ Archive

Restorative justice as a procedural revolution: Some lessons from the adversary system.

McElrea, Judge F W M (Fred)
June 4, 2015

Source: (2013) In, David J. Cornwell, John Blad, and Martin Wright, eds., Civilising criminal justice: An international restorative justice agenda for penal reform. pp. 81-114.

In the 1990s it was common to see restorative justice in contrast to retributive justice. That dichotomy has somewhat broken down of late, and I suggest that the more meaningful comparison is a procedural one, contrasting restorative justice with the adversary criminal trial. Restorative justice, understood as a revolution in criminal procedure, can enable or lead to a re-ordering of our criminal justice objectives. Indeed, much of the appeal of restorative justice is that its strengths are the the weaknesses of the adversary system, and thus the two may be seen to complement each other. (excerpt)


Support the cause

We've Been Restoring Justice for More Than 40 Years

Your donation helps Prison Fellowship International repair the harm caused by crime by emphasizing accountability, forgiveness, and making amends for prisoners and those affected by their actions. When victims, offenders, and community members meet to decide how to do that, the results are transformational.

Donate Now