Restorative Justice, Self-interest and Responsible Citizenship
Lode Walgrave has made a highly significant contribution to the worldwide development of the restorative justice movement over the last two decades. This book represents the culmination of his vision for restorative justice. Coming to the subject from a juvenile justice background he initially saw restorative justice as a means of escaping the rehabilitation-punishment dilemma, and as the basis for a more constructive judicial response to youth crime that had been the case hitherto. Over time his conception of restorative justice moved in the direction of focusing on repairing harm and suffering rather than ensuring that the youthful offender met with a 'just' response, and encompassing the notion that restorative justice was not so much about a justice system promoting restoration, more a matter of doing justice through restoration.
This book develops Lode Walgrave's conception of restorative justice further, incorporating a number of key elements.
• a clearly outcome-based definition of restorative justice
• acceptance of the need to use judicial coercion to impose sanctions as part of the reparative process
• presenting restorative justice as a fully fledged alternative to the punitive apriorism
• development of a more sophisticated concept of the relationship between restorative justice and the law, and acceptance of the need for legal regulation
• a consideration of the expansion of a restorative justice philosophy into other areas of social life and the threats and opportunities this provides
• a consideration of the implications of the expansion of restorative justice for the discipline of criminology and democracy
'This is an important book. Walgrave makes a convincing argument about limiting restorative justice to the arena of criminal justice, proposes a compelling case for common self-interest as a socio-ethical foundation for restorative justice, and places it within an ideological movement for a more just and more participatory democracy. He does so from his perspective as a European criminologist who has long reflected on the differences between common law and civil law understandings of restorative justice. Probably only Walgrave could advance the arguments in such a way that they provide illumination to those of us in common law countries. Put this beautifully-written book on your “must read” list.' – Daniel Van Ness, Prison Fellowship International, Washington DC