More conciliation and less punishment: Demanding a public choice


John Blad

The author argues that if societies wish to promote reconciliation and restoration in criminal matters, for which there are excellent reasons, the criminal codes need to be changed so as to allow for the procedures aimed at such reconciliation and restoration. Restorative justice and punitive justice fundamentally exclude each other both in the theoretical and political conception of aims and in procedural terms. The predominant aim of punishment in traditional criminal justice is discussed and demonstrated to be an impediment to reaching trustworthy results in terms of restorative justice. Therefore the substantive criminal code will have to identify the types of offences for which restorative procedures and aims are prioritized and also such types of offences for which the traditional response of punishment remains priority or even the exclusive response.

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