A KANTIAN ELABORATION OF BRAITHWAITE'S RESTORATIVE JUSTICE: DISPELLING ILLUSIONS
Dissatisfaction with the criminal law system has resulted in a call for alternative responses to issues relating to crime and injustice. Restorative justice programs are one of these alternative responses. Restorative justice is a process in which the victim, offender, and any other party affected by crime partake actively in resolving matters arising from the crime, often with the help of a facilitator. This research work seeks to defend the use of restorative justice programs by defending Braithwaite's version of restorative justice over Christie's more radical version, explaining how restorative justice is opposed to 'retributivism', and by providing a Kantian elaboration on Braithwaite's notions of dignity and freedom. The thesis argues that only by applying a Kantian notion of freedom and dignity to Braithwaite's account of restorative justice can restorative justice adequately defend itself against the criticisms made by people like Acorn and Geeraets. Only with a Kantian modification can restorative justice show how the decisions reached in a restorative justice process are not based on mere emotion or emotional coercion, but the rational deliberation and free choice of individual participants.
Restorative Justice, Kantian
Master of Arts (M.A.)