Beyond Retribution Prospects for Restorative Justice in South Africa

"Part 1 outlines the context for the monograph by providing an overview of international experience and lessons, as well as considering the relevance of restorative justice in South Africa at present. In Chapter 2, Batley reviews the South African context by first discussing the concept of restorative justice, and then considering the benefits of the approach in the current criminal justice environment. The chapter covers the three main principles contained in all definitions of restorative justice, namely that: crime causes injuries to victims, offenders and communities and that the criminal justice process should aim to redress imbalances and restore broken relationships; government, victims, offenders and their communities should be actively involved in the criminal justice process at the earliest point and to the maximum extent possible; and in promoting justice, government is responsible for preserving order and the community is responsible for establishing peace. In discussing the principles, the chapter outlines Rev Don Misener’s “five R’s” that are central to restorative justice. The chapter notes the benefits of restorative justice for South Africa and concludes with a discussion of the arguments that might be made against the approach."