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“Restorative justice, indigenous justice, and human rights.”

Zellerer, Evelyn
June 4, 2015

Source: (2001) In Restorative community justice: Repairing harm and transforming communities, ed. Gordon Bazemore and Mara Schiff, 245-263. With an introduction by Gordon Bazemore and Mara Schiff. Cincinnati, OH: Anderson Publishing Co.

Zellerer and Cunneen discuss the creation and implementation of restorative justice programs in indigenous communities. Using examples from aboriginal youth and women in Australia and Canada, they contend that transformation to restorative principles and practices in the criminal justice system must begin with recognition of the inherent rights of indigenous people. This would logically include recognition of the right to jurisdiction over the system of criminal justice by indigenous people. Their argument proceeds by examination of the principle of indigenous rights (particularly as it relates to reconciliation), similarities and differences between restorative justice and indigenous justice, and discussion of assumptions to avoid when a restorative justice model is merely presumed to be applicable to indigenous people. They also discuss the role of government in terms of obligations and responsibilities that, they contend, would remain even after recognition of the rights of indigenous people. Zellerer and Cunneen conclude by proposing certain principles that should underlie a restorative justice approach in indigenous communities.


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