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To punish or to restore? A false alternative.

Gutwirth, Serge
June 4, 2015

Source: (2013) In, David J. Cornwell, John Blad, and Martin Wright, eds., Civilising criminal justice: An international restorative justice agenda for penal reform. pp. 287-314.

Early on, proponents of restorativism requested that they be allowed to work pragmatically. They did not want their material efforts to be impeded by a debate on the movement’s theoretical foundations. Accordingly, some even asked for a moratorium on all theoretical discussion: an understandable request supposing the purpose of the movement was, first, to facilitate the development of new ideas and, second, to prevent these new ideas from being killed off prematurely. Today — now that the birth of the movement has been traced back to the 1970s and 1980s and the conduct of restorativists has proven to be more brazen than benevolently assertive — this respectful moratorium is over. Faced with the genuine antiquity and the political and ideological impact of restorativism, we would like to resume the debate about its theoretical foundations, from both juridical and scientific perspectives. (excerpt)


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