Informal Reckonings Conflict Resolution in Mediation, Restorative Justice and Reparations

By Renaud, Gilles | International Journal of Punishment and Sentencing, January 2009 | Go to article overview

Informal Reckonings Conflict Resolution in Mediation, Restorative Justice and Reparations


Renaud, Gilles, International Journal of Punishment and Sentencing


INFORMAL RECKONINGS CONFLICT RESOLUTION IN MEDIATION, RESTORATIVE JUSTICE AND REPARATIONS

ANDREW WOOLFORD AND R.S. RATNER

ROUTLEDGE-CAVENDISH, OXFORD, 2008

By way of introduction, I wish to point to an expression found in the initial chapter of another recent publication by Routledge, Handbook of Restorative Justice, [London, 2008] penned by the co-editors, Dennis Sullivan and Larry Tifft, at page 5: "Restorative justice is a form of insurgency because it "competes with' the state (and power-based social arrangements generally) in how it responds to interpersonal or intergroup conflicts ..." The authors of the text being reviewed have adopted a less revolutionary but no less markedly transformative perspective than that encompassed in the underlined passage above in that they espouse a view of the non-formal means of justice which is predicated upon an objective evaluation of the state's involvement, interest and profit from conflict resolution resulting from programs of mediation, restorative justice and reparation. They observe in their own introductory pages that there is much merit in the proposition (and the belief) that what may be described as a profoundly evolutionary development in non-formal justice is absolutely essential if true progress in the attainment of societal and individual justice is to be encountered. As is often expressed in French, such a "projet de societe" or social evolution requires a clear understanding of where the State is powerful, where it projects power and where its power is susceptible of being transformed for the greater good. The readers of Informal Reckonings Conflict Resolution in Mediation, Restorative Justice and Reparations will draw from this book a signal understanding of each of these elements.

In effect, the authors argue that "informal and formal modes of conflict resolution are entwined in an 'informal-formal justice complex'--a sociocultural formation through which these supposed antinomic tendencies combine to reproduce the juridical status quo. Based on this analysis, we raise critical concerns about the "reparative turn' that has brought mediation, restorative justice and reparations to greater prominence in contemporary times, and which too often serves to bolster, rather than to assail, neoliberal and juridical domination." Refer to page vii. Professors Woolford and Ratner then go on to suggest that these informal conflict resolution practices ought not to be dismissed out of hand, but that their communicative potential be harnessed with a view to assisting the goals of social and juridical transformation. Stated otherwise, that they be employed strategically to disrupt the existing established order with a view to establishing new possibilities for justice.

Thereafter, Chapter 1 explores fully this difficult confrontation and spheres of conflict between formal and informal justice, making plain the concerns that non-formal attempts at securing justice may be dismissed or impaired by reason of a perception that they are secondary and thus inferior as opposed to less well established. The authors remark at page 1 that "For many critics of "formal justice', informal practices hold the promise of a justice that is more empowering, participatory and accessible, while, at the same time, less alienating, costly and adversarial" to then point out that there are a host of criticisms that have arisen respecting mediation, restorative justice and reparation to the effect that they may lead to injustice by the very fact of not being tributary to structured legal processes. Nevertheless, it is suggested that the presence of certain necessary elements of informal justice, notably increased participation by those affected by anti-social behaviour, flexibility in meeting the needs of those affected and heightened legitimacy resulting from truly voluntary participation (and a reduced role for legal professionals), may well be sufficient to ensure at least equal access to true justice, if not a superior opportunity over the long run. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Informal Reckonings Conflict Resolution in Mediation, Restorative Justice and Reparations
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.