Restorative Justice, Domestic Violence and Family Violence


Is it appropriate to apply restorative justice practices to cases involving domestic violence or family violence? After describing and evaluating claims made about restorative justice generally, this paper reviews the limited literature on restorative justice for domestic violence and other cases of gendered harms. The paper then reviews specific initiatives for Aboriginal justice, such as circle sentencing, and their applicability to family violence. The final part of the paper discusses a number of ongoing concerns about restorative justice in the context of domestic violence, concluding that we should avoid being bogged down in a polarised debate that privileges restorative justice over conventional criminal justice or the converse. The way forward may be in a hybrid approach that integrates those elements that offer a safe and effective outcome.

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