Restorative Justice: Principles and Practices
The course explores the needs of key stakeholders in a justice system (victims, offenders, communities, government officials), outlines the basic principles and values of restorative justice with comparisons to the principles and values of retributive justice, and introduces some of the primary models of practice. It also identifies challenges to restorative justice. These discussions will takes place in the context of secular and religious understandings of justice. The course is organized around the issue of crime and harm within a western legal context. However, attention is given to applications and lessons from other contexts. Of particular interest is the contribution of traditional or indigenous approaches to justice as well as applications in post-conflict situations, such as South Africa. The class will include presentations by the instructor, class discussion of the assigned reading, conversations with victims, offenders and community members, and role plays of different practices. The class meets at the School of Theology and will include students from both the Law School and the School of Theology. Students will be graded on the basis of their written work and classroom performance. There will be no final exam.