Source: (2004) Australian Journal of Political Science. 39(3):505-518.
This paper examines the emergence of restorative justice meetingsâ€”in which
victims come face to face with offendersâ€”and asks whether they provide an
example of deliberative democracy in action. The article analyses some restorative
justice initiatives from the United States and Australasia and finds that they
exhibit inclusiveness, and create more scope for democratic control, but are less
strong on the equality criterion. Accountability has also been identified as a
weakness of restorative meetings but, drawing on deliberative democratic
theory, the authors suggest a possible solution. In their ability to transform
preferences of both victims and offenders, restorative meetings offer both a
vivid example to deliberative democrats and a powerful challenge to justice
systems that rely heavily on incarceration.
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