Comments 2

  1. Good piece, Donald. Two comments about restorative justice. First, it’s not really “justice.” Justice per se aims at rectification (the goals of the law of contracts and torts) and retribution (criminal law). Second, as the work of Christ did not end with atonement for sin but provided the foundation for reconciliation (Rom. 5:10; Col. 1:20-22), so too our system of criminal justice should provide for what can come afterwards, i.e., restoration. Thus, Campbell Law School’s Restorative Justice Clinic, which works with the survivors of a murdered victim and the convicted perpetrator to facilitate reconciliation out of the most heinous situation.

    1. Those are good points. The default nomenclature out there is to treat restorative justice as a different category of justice (as I did in the opening of my piece); however, that’s not really true. The wrong must be rectified, the price paid, and then restoration is part of the completion of the process. If we care about the long-term well-being of both victim and perpetrator (esp. the victim), then facilitating reconciliation is an important part of promoting the good in society, but it’s not an alternative to restraining evil and vindicating the victim.

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