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Attainable and a Better Legal System

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Is there an attainable, a better legal system than we now have? Explain.

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Please refer to attached file response (also provided below) I have provided the two articles that I drew from, as well. I hope this helps and take care.


1. "Is there, attainable, a better legal system than we now have?"

One possibility is to move to a Restorative Justice System. I have located two excellent articles on this topic, which I attached for convenience (also available on-line http://www.lcc.gc.ca/en/themes/sr/rj/howse/howse_main.asp and http://www.johnhoward.ab.ca/PUB/C26.htm). The first article by Llewellyn and Howse attempts to apply the Restorative Justice System to other aspects of law besides the criminal law system.

Briefly, then, the first article by Llewellyn and Howse: In addition to offering a guide for the development of future restorative justice initiatives, the framework in this paper will also serve as an evaluative tool for existing practices claiming to be restorative in nature. We will briefly examine the parameters and direction for such evaluations. This paper will also explore the practicalities of applying the framework. Restorative justice practices have most commonly been employed in the area of criminal justice. An examination of the scope of restorative justice practices will be undertaken with a view to entertaining the possibility for restorative justice in other areas of law. In the process, we will attend to the potential problems and limits in applying this model of justice. Finally, the authors look at the interaction with and integration of restorative justice practices with current legal institutions. How can restorative justice be done and who are the appropriate actors and agents of restorative justice practices? For a definition of Restorative Justice, see the following sections of the article by Llewellyn and Howse:

A Question of Justice

Defining Restorative Justice

Restorative Justice ~ A Theory of Justice


Corrective Justice

Retributive Justice

Restorative Justice

Although these are both Canadian article, the information equally applies to similar justice system across countries as well.

From the second article, refer to the following section:


Llewellyn and Howse conclude that the elaboration of a conceptual framework for restorative justice entails enormous issues of institutional reconstruction and redesign. In this conclusion, the authors stated "we can do little more than articulate what we consider the research, and policy development, agenda that flows most immediately from the possibilities opened up by the restorative idea."

These authors (Llewellyn and Howse) make some good closing points. First of all, as the article discusses, any transition towards restorative justice will involve a complex interaction with existing processes, institutions and roles. At the level of detail, the range of institutional practices to be rethought is formidable--in the criminal context, the entry point for restoration can arguably begin as early as preventative policing, extending through prosecutorial discretion, to sentencing (where, all too often, alternative approaches have been taken as beginning). The challenge of weaving restoration into the various existing justice contexts (criminal, family, commercial etc.) needs to be addressed in a context-by-context basis. In the criminal area, where rights of the accused have been extensively constitutionalized in a manner that assumes important features of the present system, research must be undertaken on how this legacy may affect restorative possibilities, and how Charter issues may have to be re-thought where the co-existence of restorative and conventional approaches is contemplated.

Secondly, Llewellyn and Howse point out that any move towards a restorative approach should presuppose a careful examination the issue of cross-cultural understandings of justice (read article attached for more detail). The conceptual framework supposes the possibility of cross-cultural dialogue and understanding about justice, and therefore rejects a cultural relativist or determinist view. But supposing the possibility of such dialogue does not, of course, obviate the need to undertake it. By necessity restoration must respond to the moral intuitions of both wrongdoers and sufferers of wrong, however broadly defined. A restorative approach will clearly not work unless there is a policy development process that at least could begin with a broadly based consultation and dialogue with Canadians in all their diversity, asking hard questions about why, for example, so many of us viscerally reach for punishment as a "solution"--a dialogue where voices of wrongdoers and sufferers of wrongs must be present and in interaction.

The second article on Restorative Justice explains the failure of the present justice system in following sections (attached as "Restorative Justice2"):


This second article also explains the main goals of the Restorative Justice system in the sections following:
Justice for the Victim
Justice for the Offender
Addressing Victim-Offender Relations
Community Concerns

2. "Explain."

Both articles explain how this Restorative Justice System is attainable. The first article explains (i.e., see mainly the Section 'Theory in Practice' of Llewellyn and Howse, as well as other sections, such as the limitations section. Check the table of contents below for sections that you want to look up:



Justice in History

Contemporary Restorative Ideas

Origins of Restorative Justice

A Question of Justice

Defining Restorative Justice

Restorative Justice ~ A Theory of Justice


Corrective Justice

Retributive Justice

Restorative Justice

Victims/Sufferers of Wrong



Restorative Process

Elements of Restorative Justice Practice


Rights Protection -- Addressing Power Imbalances




THE LIMITS OF RESTORATIVE JUSTICE: Promise, Possibility and Problems
Scope of Restorative Justice

Challenges for Restorative Justice:

Is Restoration Possible Where One or More Parties is Absent?

Deterrence, Social Protection, and the Limits of a Purely Restorative System

Whose Idea of Restoration?

Restorative justice within a dual system

State and Community as Agents of Restorative Justice

Developing Restorative Processes

CONCLUSION: The Road to Restorative Justice -- Getting from Here to There

The second article, deals with the implementation of a Restorative ...

Solution Summary

This solution explains if there is an attainable and a better legal system than we now have. Supplemented with two supporting articles describing restorative justice as attainable and a better legal system.

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