|An ongoing fieldwork in Norwegian restorative justices has made the
Bakhtinian wording dialogicality useful for understanding the rituality of
restoration compared to the ritual of criminalization. Coming from a field
experience in Norwegian criminal court I recognise the two different
organisations of justices, one monological - the other dialogical. In
applying an anthropology of knowledge-approach, I look for comparisons on
paradigmatic, communicational and epistemological levels as well as the
different sources for appreciated knowledge. The positioning of the persons
at conflict in the two justices as well as the positions of the witnesses
create two totally distinct possibilities. I tend to think that herein lie
some answers to why the dialogic relation between participants in restorative
justice processes may develop into "magic", a term frequently used by
mediators/facilitators when they recall what happened during conferences.
Persons who seemingly oppose each other, come through the dialogue offered by
the mediator(s) or the conferencing facilitator(s) to a common understanding
of the interpretation of the act; the event - on their own premises, with
their own wording and their own rhythm of talk, with anger or anxiety, fury
or sadness - and with the possibility of Forgiveness as an act of the future.
Thus the meaning of sanction may be changed or no longer relevant. The
endeavour of restorative justice in late modern societies, such as Norway,
challenges The Force of Law.
(Return to Program Resources)