INTRODUCTION TO POLITICAL THEORY

6. Restorative justice

Restorative justice is regarded as an alternative to criminal justice (formal justice) system. The core of restorative justice is constituted upon the notion ‘to restore’. ‘What is to be restored and to whom and how’ are the larger issues and debates around the restorative theme. Tony Marshall defines restorative justice as ‘a process whereby all the parties with a stake in a particular offence come together to resolve and deal with it in the aftermath of the offence and its implications for the future’. (Braithwaite, 1999: 5) Restorative justice is more about ‘healing’ rather than hurting, moral learning, forgiveness, apology, responsibility, community participation and community caring. As such, restorative justice aims at healing victims and their communities following a crime through the active involvement of affected parties and the community. It seeks to reestablish healthy relationship between individuals and promotes just outcomes following through an agreement upon set of procedures. (Ward & Langlands, 2008.) Under restorative justice, there are certain basic important propositions: identifying and taking steps to repair harm, involving all the stakeholders and bringing a change in the relationship between communities and their government in responding the crime.