Does Restorative Justice

Does restorative justice violate the Social Contract
 As our democratic principles adapted Social Contract, it gave us the choice to be a follower of this concept (and eventually the Constitution it provides), or one of the non-supporters of it to characterize the true meaning of what is described a mutual pact. The actions of people were soon being controlled by laws. With this, people have sought for justice which has been intellectualized. One of its products is restorative justice. I believe that it does not violate Social Contract but in fact calls for its involvement. However, in principle and in theory, it is the other way around.

Connoted as an open battle between victims and offenders, restorative justice encourages everyone in the society to be responsible with their actions. Restorative justice removes the label of people to offenders and victims as it corrects the wrongdoing of the former which somehow compensates and compromises the latter (Howlett, 2003). It promotes cooperation within voluntary communities and between its individuals. Thus, a mutual and common agreement between people is formed. This shows that without the arm of a supreme, man can resolve problems.

Likewise, John Locke said that in social contract, the sovereignty resided in individuals, not in the rulers (Katznelson). However, as the theory states as Locke and Thomas Hobbes agree, societal order can be achieved if there is a governing body, and the principle was affirmed during the 16th century when democracy was enacted.

Furthermore, Locke, one of the major influences in the creation of Constitution, believed that we should have limited social contract in order to highlight the rights and liberties of people. In what aspect does the restorative justice is attributed and affected in this regard Restorative justice is a voluntary conference between the offender and victim where compromise is evident as long as the crime is undertaken.  Afterwards, measures to resort from the crime to happen again are drafted not only by the offender and victim but also by the parties and authorities who wish to participate. Hence, the criminal resolution, in this instance, emanates from the people not from the state only. Restorative justice then becomes an alternative. Given this set-up, both parties set aside what the laws state specifically the role of the judicial department.

John Rawls notion agrees to this kind of justice. For him, justice is fairness (Hinman). This means people should be equally receive rights and liberties and that any inequalities should be endured by everybody.

In Howletts paper, he concluded that restorative justice cannot be applied to our society as communities especially each individual should learn to participate in the said program. In principle, lack of community ownership hinders the successful restorative program. I therefore conclude that the following are the two main factors why the present social contract would not agree with the principles of restorative justice

Restorative justice is compromised. It disregards the laws in Constitution.
The state over rules criminal situations while in restorative justice the agreement is resolved among individuals, invites the presence of the authorities but they are not obligated to join the conference.


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