Regulating Coercion in Restorative Justice

Lode Walgrave, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

A maximalist view of restorative justice, includes the imposition of coercive 'restorative sanctions', if voluntary processes appear not to be possible or to be unsufficient. Such sanctions can only be imposed by a judicial authority, according to legal rules. Crucial differences exist between traditional criminal punishments and sanctions in view of restoration. It is believed that such sanctions are generally more effective and socio-ethically more justifiable. Reorienting the justice system in a restorative direction, provokes questions in relation to legal safeguards. Based on the republican theory of criminal justice, a sketch is proposed for developing a fully fledged restorative justice system, which combines maximal room for informal voluntary processes with due legal safeguards for all parties involved.

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Updated 05/20/2006