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Revisiting the relationship between retributive and restorative justice

Daly, Kathleen
June 4, 2015

Source: (2001) In Restorative justice: Philosophy to practice, ed. Heather Strang and John Braithwaite, 33-54. Burlington, Vermont, U.S.: Ashgate Publishing Company.

Convinced that this is a critical issue for advocates of restorative justice, Daly raises the question of the role of punishment in restorative justice. She frames the question largely in relation to certain restorative justice processes — namely, family conferences as used in response to youth crime in Australia and New Zealand. Her discussion proceeds through elaboration of a series of points or assertions about retributive and restorative justice: (1) the retributive-restorative oppositional contrast is wrong; (2) there are key differences in traditional and restorative justice; (3) restorative justice processes and outcomes are alternative punishments, not alternatives to punishment; (4) there is reason to assert a complex meshing of censure, symbolic reparation, restorative processes, and “just-ness”; and (5) there are ethical problems in the practice of restorative justice.


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