Back to RJ Archive

Thinking Critically about Restorative Justice

Cunneen, Chris
June 4, 2015

Source: (2003) In Eugene McLaughlin, Ross Fergusson, Gordon Hughes and Louise Westmarland, eds., Restorative Justice: Critical Issues. London: Sage Publications in association with The Open University. Pp. 182-194.

This chapter is presented as a sympathetic critique of restorative justice. It is both the critical story of the restorative justice discourse that is, as well as a contemplation of the restorative justice that might be….Critical perspectives on restorative justice have emerged from a number of avenues. For the purposes of this discussion, these arguments may be grouped as neo-marxist, postmodernist, feminist, postcolonial and liberal…. I will deal with what I consider to be the essential elements of the critique within these five perspectives, perhaps more determinedly from a perspective informed by postcolonial critiques…. I have centred these critiques on a number of issues: the state; globalization; community; gender; human rights and indigenous rights; and the rule of law. The chapter concludes with a discussion of evaluations of existing restorative justice practices and possible future directions. (excerpt)


Support the cause

We've Been Restoring Justice for More Than 40 Years

Your donation helps Prison Fellowship International repair the harm caused by crime by emphasizing accountability, forgiveness, and making amends for prisoners and those affected by their actions. When victims, offenders, and community members meet to decide how to do that, the results are transformational.

Donate Now