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Transforming power – The key to justice?

Bargen, Catherine
June 4, 2015

Source: (2011) Revisioning Justice. Restorative Justice Week 2011. Correctional Services Canada.

Many of us advocates for restorative justice (RJ)
like to think outside the box when it comes to
the application of RJ. We dream about what RJ
would look like if all of us applied RJ principles
to our own personal lives, and what society would
look like if RJ principles were adopted beyond
the criminal justice arena. Sometimes this
notion of justice responses having the potential
to transform both the personal realm and the
societal realm has raised the debate in the RJ
field that “Restorative Justice” should really be
more about “Transformative Justice”. In other
words, that “restoring” may cause us to focus
on re-establishing an existing dynamic (whether
healthy or unhealthy), and that “transforming”
would help us truly challenge and change existing unhealthy dynamics. I don’t intend to settle
the debate between whether we should use
the term transformative justice over restorative
justice, but I would like to invite us to re-vision
what a more overt “transformative approach”
to RJ might look like in both our personal lives
and wider society. In both cases, bringing a
transformative lens to RJ involves examining
our relationship with power.(excerpt)


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