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Setting Standards for Restorative Justice

Braithwaite, John
June 4, 2015

Source: (2002) British Journal of Criminology 42:563-577

Three types of restorative justice standards are articulated: limiting, maximizing, and enabling standards. They are developed as multidimensional criteria for evaluating restorative justice programmes. A way of summarizing the long list of standards is that they define ways of securing the republican freedom (dominion) of citizens through repair, transformation, empowerment with others and limiting the exercise of power over others. A defence of the list is also articulated in terms of values that can be found in consensus UN Human Rights agreements and from what we know empirically about what citizens seek from restorative justice. Ultimately, such top-down lists motivated by UN instruments or the ruminations of intellectuals are only important for supplying a provisional, revisable agenda for bottom-up deliberation on restorative justice standards appropriate to distinctively local anxieties about injustice. A method is outlined for moving bottom-up from standards citizens settle for evaluating their local programme to aggregating these into national and international standards.


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