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The limits of Restorative Justice

Daly, Kathleen
June 4, 2015

Source: (2006) In, Dennis Sullivan and Larry Tifft editors, “Handbook of Restorative Justice” A Global Perspective. London and New York: Routledge. Taylor & Francis Group pp.134-143

This chapter addresses a selected set of limits of RJ, those concerning its scope and its practices. My discussion is selective and limited. I do not consider the discursive limits of liberal legality as these are viewed through a postmodern lens, not do I consider related problems when nation states or communities cannot imagine particular offences or understand ‘ultra-Others’. My focus instead is on the limits of current RJ practices, when applied to youth justice cases in common law jurisdictions. There are other contexts where RJ can be applied, including adult criminal cases; non-criminal contexts (school disputes and conflicts; workplace disputes and conflicts; and child welfare); and responding to broader political conflict as a form of transitional justice practice, among other potential sites. I focus on RJ in youth justice cases because it currently has a large body of empirical evidence. However, as RJ is increasingly being applied in adult cases and in different contexts (pre- or post-sentence advice, for example, as is now the case in England and New Zealand) we might expect to see different kings of limits emerging. (excerpt)


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