Restorative Justice
Restorative justice
Traditional criminal justice seeks answers to three questions: What laws have been broken? Who did it? and What do the offender(s) deserve? [10] But there is a different approach to justice rather than privileging the law, professionals and the state. This approach asks: Who has been harmed? What are their needs? Whose obligations are these? This approach is called the restorative justice, which could be defined as “a theory of justice that emphasizes repairing the harm caused by criminal behavior. It is best accomplished through cooperative processes that allow all willing stakeholders to encounter. This leads to transformation of people, relationships and communities.”[1]

This theory is based on an understanding of justice that considers crime and wrongdoing to be an offense against an individual or a community, rather than the state. [3] J. Braithwaite wrote that it is important to clear that “Court-annexed alternative dispute resolution seeks to address legally relevant issues and to protect both parties rights, whereas restorative justice seeks “expanding the issues beyond those that are legally relevant, especially into underlying relationships.” [8] Restorative justice focuses on the needs of the victims, offenders, and the community, instead of applying abstract legal principles.

On explaining restorative justice Greif, Liebmann also wrote: A way of looking at restorative justice is to think of it as a balance among a number of different tensions:

(a) The therapeutic and the retributive models of justice.
(b) The rights of offenders and the needs of victims.
(c) The need to rehabilitate offenders and the duty to protect the public.[9]
According to Zehr and Mika (1998), there are three key ideas that support restorative justice. First, is the understanding that the victim and the surrounding community have both been affected by the action of the offender and, in addition, restoration is necessary. Second, the offenders obligation is to make amends with both the victim and the community. Third, and the most important, is the healing concept, or the collaborative unburdening of pain for the victim, offender, and community. All parties should engage in creating agreements in order to avoid recidivism and to restore safety for how the wrongdoing can be righted, which allows the victim to have direct say in the judgment process.

This approach gives offenders the opportunity to understand the harm they have caused, while demonstrating to the community that the offender might also have suffered prior harm. It also suports healing by reintegration of offenders into the community, strives to restore harmony, health, and well-being by comprising personal accountability, decision-making and the putting right of harm.[6]

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Restorative Justice And Different Approach. (April 3, 2021). Retrieved from