The restorative justice system gives equal voice to the post-conflict positions of victims and perpetrators. The restorative justice framework, which gives victims a platform to share their grievances, allows the outside world to acknowledge the suffering of victims and the need to redress the damage done to victims, survivors, and to their descendants.
The restorative justice system gives equal voice to the post-conflict positions of victims and perpetrators.
Restorative justice is a non-penal approach to dealing with the aftermath of a criminal offense. Mediated encounters between victim and perpetrator groups ensure that both victims and perpetrators have an opportunity to express themselves. The goal of the encounter is to facilitate an exchange of apology from the perpetrator to the victim and the creation of a reparations agreement for the victim that is formed through joint victim-perpetrator agreement. Such outcomes, however, are not guaranteed.
There are three evaluative approaches to restorative justice, one emphasizing the salience of the encounter itself, the second the reparative function of righting the damage done, and the third the transformative moment that instills change in the two sides and their relationship, as well as in the world at large (Johnstone and Van Ness, 2007).
An admission of wrongdoing on behalf of perpetrator(s) who committed criminal offense. Such admission is often difficult to elicit and achieve, yet apology, saying “I’m sorry,” is required before any aspect of restitution can ensue.
The return of stolen property and belongings by the perpetrator to the victim in the aftermath of a criminal offense.
Monetary compensation for that which cannot be returned, provided by the perpetrator to the victim in the aftermath of a criminal offense, to lessen the damage done. The amount is jointly determined during the perpetrator-victim encounter. Reparation may also include health treatment for the victim.
Victims and Restitution
Return of that which belongs to the victim, including livelihood, to achieve conditions desired by the victim, through the combined use of apology, actual restitution, and reparation. Each of these measures does not have to occur to facilitate restitution. Many losses, such as the life of a loved one, cannot be restored.
Victims and Restorative Justice
Restorative justice is one of the rare approaches within criminal justice initiatives that restores to the victim elements that were lost because of the damaging acts of the perpetrator. However, in the history of human relations, there is often not a dyadic opposition of victim and perpetrator, but several groups that may have been involved in causing trauma and destruction to victims.
Restorative justice is one of the rare approaches within criminal justice initiatives that restores to the victim…
From our research, we now understand that the complexity of the different historical scenarios that frame genocides and their aftermaths precludes simplified outcomes. It is naïve to presume that efforts at reconciliation and restorative justice will neutralize the pain of survivors and their descendants. Our suggestion of programs of educational restitution is one way to help victimized groups, but not a panacea that alleviates the injustice and suffering experienced by the victims.
Both the theoretical constructs of restorative justice and the practical work of restitution following genocides encouraged us to establish a framework of educational restitution relating to the language and culture of life before genocide.