Back to RJ Archive

What Happens When Restorative Justice is Encouraged, Enabled and/or Guided by Legislation?

Masters, Guy
June 4, 2015

Source: (2004) In, Howard Zehr and Barb Toews, eds., Critical Issues in Restorative Justice. Monsey, New York and Cullompton, Devon, UK: Criminal Justice Press and Willan Publishing. Pp. 227-238.

After more than two decades of growing interest in and development of restorative justice, a number of jurisdictions, from local to national levels, have enacted legislation to implement restorative justice principles, goals, and processes in a variety of ways and to varying degrees. In view of this, Guy Masters reflects in this essay on the extent to which restorative processes can be established by legislation. His point is that, inasmuch as restorative justice has been mainstreamed to some degree in several countries, it is time to examine the implications of this reality. Toward this end, he reviews the informal beginnings of the modern restorative justice movement in the 1970s, developments in theory and practice, and the question of whether restorative justice should be developed through central legislation or through local community activism. Masters uses New Zealand and England and Wales as two case studies of the issues involved.


AbstractCourtsPolicePolicyRJ OfficeStatutes and LegislationTeachers and Students
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