Restorative Justice Essay

1692 words - 7 pages

1 Introduction
There is an ever increasing trend of crime in our society. The troubling issue is that such an increase is also seen in violent crimes; between 2012 and 2013 alone there has been a 4.2% increase in murder cases. There are many contributing factors to these statistics, one of them being the effectives South Africa’s judicial system. A punishment system which deters people from becoming first time offenders, as well as prevents existing offenders from re-offending will play a crucial role in stabilizing the level of crime in South Africa. This essay will consider whether restorative justice is an effective process and hence whether it is gaining support in the South African ...view middle of the document...

With restorative justice the accused attempts to repair broken bonds, as far as possible, with the victim and those affected by the criminal conduct of the accused.
The exact way in which these relationships will be repaired is dealt with in such a way, where the interests of the victim and the interests of the community play a considerably influential role. An agreement is reached between legal experts, the victim and the community, describing how the ‘broken bonds’ will be amended. This agreement is only limited in that it cannot infringe the human rights of the accused.
According to Zehr and Toews the restorative justice process can be separated into two components, namely, the “process conception” and the “values conception.” The process component deals with the idea that restorative justice implies a change in the criminal process with which we deal with the accused. The values component suggests that restorative justice promotes a move away from punishment associated with vengeance and a shift towards reconciliation.
Restorative justice involves the formulation of punishment by taking into account the demands of the community and designing a punishment which fits the criminal and not the crime. The aim of restorative justice is to place the parties involved in the dispute, in the same or similar position prior to the disturbance of the crime.
Ultimately restorative justice will be considered effective if it achieves better results than existing state punishment techniques. The effectiveness of restorative justice and its future in the South African legal system can analysed by exploring its existence in legislature, case law and in the opinions of legal experts.

4 Legislature
The concept of restorative justice and its weight in South African Criminal law will be heightened considerably with its inclusion in legislature. Restorative justice and those principles closely linked to the process; do exist in South African law today.

4 1 The Child Justice Act 75 of 2008 (“The Child Justice Act”)
Prior to The Child Justice Act children who committed a crime were dealt with in terms of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1997 (“The Criminal Procedure Act”). The Child Justice Act deals with those below the age of 18 years who allegedly committed a crime. The underlying similarity between this act and the aim of the restorative justice process is that a lighter or lesser sentence is imparted upon the accused.
In terms of the procedures of The Child Justice Act a preliminary inquiry occurs within 48 hours of the child’s arrest. The preliminary enquiry involves more than just the state and the accused. A magistrate, the accused, his or her parents, a prosecutor, probation officer, the arresting police officer and an attorney attend the inquiry. Furthermore section 61 (1)(a) makes mention of a family group conference, which includes the victim and his or her family.
Although this is not identical to the meeting involved with restorative justice, the...

Find Another Essay On Restorative Justice

Restorative Justice Essay

2844 words - 11 pages Restorative justice is a reorientation of how one thinks about crime and justice and a shift in focus from punitive to reparative justice , however it is a paradigm, which cannot be consensually defined . It is collectively made up of various theories posited through restorative justice scholars. Although a consensual definition is difficult to imply, a panel of restorative justice scholars working under the Delphi method of research have

Restorative Justice Handbook Essay

1537 words - 7 pages Introduction Just Schools: a whole school approach to Restorative Justice is a practical handbook that presents a whole school approach to repairing harm using a variety of means including peer mediation, circles, and restorative conferencing. The thesis of this book is that the key to successful teaching and learning is: working in an atmosphere where people care about each other, have good relationships, mutual respect, and a sense of

Restorative and Community Justice

1103 words - 4 pages What is restorative justice?Restorative justice emphasizes the ways in which crimes hurt relationships between people who live in a community. Restorative justice is "designed to provide the context for ensuring that social rather than legal goals are met."1 Within the process of restorative justice there are three major goals: victim involvement, offender accountability, and community protection. The offender becomes accountable to those they

Purpose of Restorative Justice

570 words - 2 pages Restorative justice is commonly used in today's courts, the main goal is to restore the victim, community and offender and to help them become "whole again". "Restorative justice is being seen as one of the tools in the tool box and one of the options that should be available for conflict resolution"(Hall, 2008). To accomplish this, the use of fines, restitution and community service are frequently used by sentencing judges. When restitution is

Balanced and Restorative Justice

1102 words - 4 pages The Balanced and Restorative Justice (BARJ) approach introduced first in 1993 through a grant to Florida Atlantic University (FAU) began as a national initiative of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). It seeks to serve juvenile offenders with a perspective to achieve restoration or a guaranteed favorable return to reverse their once delinquent behavior. It serves juvenile offenders providing them with a

Restorative Justice and Reconciliation

1904 words - 8 pages Truth and Reconciliation Commission, or TRC. The TRC was created as a temporary commission whose purpose was to process applications for amnesty and bring restorative justice to the victims of apartheid. Apartheid, a model that had oppressed non-whites and treated them as subhuman, plagued South Africa for nearly half a century. Colonized in the 1600s by both English and Dutch alike, South Africa still remained under the power of the

Say yes to restorative justice

840 words - 4 pages Carruthers argues that restorative justice is often an alternative to the traditional form of justice (p. 12). While it is not possible for this system of justice to replace the traditional system, it has ensured balance between the person who has been harmed, the one causing the harm as well as the community which has been affected, instead of concentrating on crime based on law. This of justice has been practiced by several cultures at some

Violent Females and Restorative Justice

1789 words - 7 pages 2. Introduction As of the early 20th century, there has been a rise in violent crime committed by women. This is due to a change in gender roles that result in women having a lack of informal control, giving women the mindset that they are more assertive (Kruttschnitt, et. al, 2008). It has been found that women as a whole are less likely to reoffend after attending a restorative justice conference (Hayes, 2005). Due to the female violent

Restorative Justice Gaining Support in South Africa

1591 words - 7 pages 1 Introduction Punishment is central to any legal proceeding where the accused is found guilty. It falls directly under criminal law and is determined by punishment theories. Whether South Africa is moving towards restorative justice approaches influences many aspects: it allows protection of society and results in more crime-free life for the offender. Consequently, it gives offenders the chance to learn from their experiences, gain insight

How Does Restorative Justice Work Within Nacro?

3978 words - 16 pages G20320704 Tutor: Joanne WestwoodSP3005 COMMUNITY PROJECTCASE STUDYWhat role does restorative justice have within Nacro?Word Count: 4178 Date: 21/03/10What role does restorative justice, have within Nacro?The community project I am involved with focuses on children and young people who are at risk of, or have already been involved with the Criminal Justice System. By way of referral, they are signposted to a Y.I.P (Youth Inclusion Project), where

Deterrence, Rational and Restorative Justice Theories

1902 words - 8 pages This paper will illustrate three theories; deterrence theory, rational choice theory, and restorative justice theory. It will outline in detail the policies, and the connections between theory, research, and policy. Deterrence theory can be outlined as “principles of certainty, severity, and celerity of punishment, proportionality, specific and general deterrence” (Burke, 2009). In order for the punishment to be effective it has to be certain

Similar Essays

Restorative Justice Essay

1722 words - 7 pages Introduction: Restorative justice is the idea that harm caused by a crime can be repaired (Wallis, 2007) and that the victim and community can be restored to how it was previously, rather than resorting to punishing the offender (Liebmann, 2007). At the moment, the criminal justice system is based on retributive justice over restorative justice; this is where a lawbreaker receives punishment in proportion to the crime inflicted (Milovanovic

Restorative Justice Essay

1853 words - 8 pages Nelson Mandela once said, “If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner”. This is essentially a main characteristic of restorative justice- to reconcile society, the victim and the offender- but also to rehabilitate the offender so that he is no longer an “enemy” of the criminal justice system. This form of justice is gaining support in South Africa; however there are limitations to

Restorative Justice Essay

982 words - 4 pages Restorative justice is an innovative approach to the criminal justice system that focuses on repairing the harm caused by crimes committed. The methods used in the conventional justice system may deter the offender from committing further crimes, but it does neither repair the harm caused, nor help them acknowledge their responsibility, instead it stigmatises them, worsening the situation instead of improving it (Johnstone 2003). “Stigmatisation

Restorative Justice Essay 1957 Words

1957 words - 8 pages management programs that consider individually the shaming management process.The introduction and development of any new process will induce criticism, as stated by Kathleen Daly in her paper Restorative Justice in Diverse and Unequal Societies,"Any justice practice, however well intentioned can be expected to reproduce existing relations of inequality" (Abel 1982 Matthews 1988)The creation of institutions that allow healthy shaming that results