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Australia has established itself as a leader in the effective utilisation of restorative justice, with legislative backing to set up statutory schemes in four jurisdictions, representing a broad social movement that favours restoration over retribution.

  • Essay length: 4451 words
  • Submitted: 21/10/2007
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University Degree Criminology

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4. Choose a theory of non-adversarial justice and trace its application or influence in a legal process in Australia or internationally.

The prevailing view, both domestically and internationally, hold that means of retributive justice, such as tougher punishment or longer prison sentences, are effective means of deterring crime. Whilst in theory, it administers just and proportionate punishment that should deter crime and prevent recidivism, in practice it fails to correct or deter, just as often making things worse.1 Over the last decade, a rehabilitative approach has been promoted as a solution to the failings of the conventional criminal justice system. This form of non-adversarial justice, termed 'restorative justice', focuses on the core values of participation, repair, healing and reintegration of those effected and their community. It seeks to make offenders accountable for their actions, through confronting the harm they have caused a victim, and allowing the victim to contribute directly to the process of seeking remedy and justice.2 Australia has established itself as a leader in the effective utilisation of restorative justice, with legislative backing to set up statutory schemes in four jurisdictions, representing a broad social movement that favours restoration over retribution.

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