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ISBN: 9781773635194-09

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Arguments against Restorative Justice


From: Reconciliation and Indigenous Justice


Chapter 9 reviews arguments against Restorative Justice, which has faced increasing criticism in recent years. These criticisms will now be canvassed, along with examples that illustrate their relevance to Indigenous efforts to use restorative alternatives. As is explored in the chapter, “Power Imbalances”, “Getting Off Easy”, and “Doubts about Greater Efficacy” are examples of criticisms that question the capacity of restorative justice, and Indigenous initiatives that resemble restorative justice, to deliver any substantial or measurable improvements over the standard justice system. Restorative justice proponents have been able to marshal statistical evidence in support of their positions. The author notes that, as it turns out, for nearly any study that indicates success, detractors can point to another study that indicates failure.



David Milward

David Milward is an associate professor of law with the University of Victoria and a member of the Beardy’s & Okemasis First Nation of Duck Lake, Saskatchewan. He assisted the Truth and Reconciliation Commission with the authoring of its final report on Indigenous justice issues and is the author of Aboriginal Justice and the Charter: Realizing a Culturally Sensitive Interpretation of Legal Rights, which was joint winner of the K.D. Srivastava Prize for Excellence in Scholarly Publishing and was short-listed for the Canadian Law & Society Association Book Prize. He also co-authored The Art of Science in the Canadian Justice: A Reflection on My Experiences as an Expert Witness. Dr. Milward is the author of numerous articles on Indigenous justice in leading national and international law journals.