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Satisfying the needs and interests of victims

Bennett, Christopher
June 4, 2015

Source: (2007) in, Gerry Johnstone and Daniel W. Van Ness, eds., Handbook of Restorative Justice. Cullompton, Devon: Willan Publishing. pp. 247-264

“This chapter approaches restorative justice from the point of view of moral philosophy. … This chapter is concerned with two questions: first, what responsibilities the offender has towards the victim of crime and, secondly, what responsibilities the state would have towards the victim, should restorative justice be adopted as the major form of criminal justice. I begin with a brief defence of my philosophical approach, arguing that if we look at what is owed to the victim we get a clearer idea of the principles behind restorative justice than if we look at victims’ desires or needs. Next I draw on and elaborate Howard Zehr’s understanding of crime and its effects, and on his view of what the offender owes to the victim. Finally I look at the possibility of state-sponsored restorative justice and ask what the state – or some other collective like a local community — has a responsibility to the victim to do to the offender.” (excerpt)


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