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63 Sask. L. Rev. 185 (2000)
Restorative Justice and Social Justice

handle is hein.journals/sasklr63 and id is 191 raw text is: Saskatchewan
Law Review
Restorative Justice and Social Justice
John Braithwaite*
Restorative justice is now a global social movement advocating transformation
of the criminal justice system. There is no criminal justice system that it has
yet actually transformed, but there are few it has not touched. Few have
played a more important role in the new social movement for a restorative
justice system than the Canadian criminal justice system.1
Part of this movement stems from a greater openness in Canada to
learning from the wisdom of Indigenous people about justice, a greater
openness than we see in my own country or in the United States, for example.
In particular, Canadian senior judges listen more to the wisdom of First Nations
Peoples than judges in other countries, and show more judicial leadership
toward restorative justice alternatives. In his 1997 Culliton Lecture, Chief
Justice Bayda suggested changes in law school curricula to include extensive
classes in restorative justice and in sentencing.2 Justice Bayda found it a
rather exciting thought that there might be [t]housands of law students
across the country thinking and talking about innovative ways to involve the
community in the healing of the breaches in relationships caused by an
offender's offense.3
Healing relationships, as opposed to balancing hurt with hurt, is one
core value of restorative justice.4 So is community deliberation: putting the
problem in the centre of the circle rather than putting the criminal at the
centre of the criminal justice system.5 Whatever a retributive system deems
The Culliton Lecture, College of Law, University of Saskatchewan, September 1999.
1    See Canada, Law Commission of Canada, From Restorative Justice to Transformative Justice
(Discussion Paper), online: <http://www.lcc.gc.ca/en/forum/rj/paper.html> (last modified: 1
October 1999); K. Roach, Due Process and Victims' Rights: The New Law and Politics of Criminal
Justice (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1999).
2    E.D. Bayda, The Theory and Practice of Sentencing: Are They on the Same Wavelength?
(1996) 60 Sask. L. Rev. 317 at 331.
3    Ibid.
4    See H. Zehr, Changing Lenses: A New Focus for Crime and Justice (Waterloo: Herald Press, 1990).
5    A.P. Melton, Indigenous Justice Systems and Tribal Society (1995) 79 Judicature 126.

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