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The nexus between Rights and Restorative Justice, using a case example of an organisation ‘C’.

Mackay, Robert E.
June 4, 2015

Source: (2012) Paper presented at the 1st International Symposium on Restorative Justice and Human Rights. 2-7 June 2012, Skopelos Island, Greece.

This paper addresses two questions. The first is theoretical: What is the relationship between rights and
restorative justice? The answer to this question leads to the second, pragmatic question: Can we pursue
restorative aims when access to redress has been limited or denied? This is explored through a case
example. In the face of the challenges that this case example presents In the face of these challenges to
practice, I question whether rights theories are a necessary but insufficient foundation for restorative
justice. I will argue that if we are concerned with the restorative principle of justice, in the current state of
Western legal traditions at least, it will be difficult to meet this criterion without a strong foundation of
human rights. However, in practice, that foundation may not provide for the fulfilment of rights, and even if
it could, legal systems cannot always achieve justice. So the issue for the practitioner is, absent a strong
rights foundation, what can be done? If we broaden our context and see justice as a servant of
peacemaking, restorative practitioners can explore means of promoting peace, which may include the
promotion of human rights.(author’s abstract)


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