My Approach to Restorative Justice

The concept of restorative justice has emerged strongly in the past few years to sit as an equal beside more familiar forms of retribution, distribution, and exchange. At its heart is the rightful claim of the injured to be restored and our proper obligation to foster that restoration.

In a world in which those who harm have also been harmed, restorative justice seeks to foster relationships of mutual respect and care that enable all creatures to flourish. In this way, restorative justice is closely linked to reconciliation. Indeed, there can be no reconciliation without restoration. Restoration carries within it the seeds of reconciliation.

One of its most important contributions is the way it opens up the door to ecological justice. It moves our sense of justice beyond the merely human sphere and brings in the world (indeed, the universe) which is the object of the Creator’s care.

It is at this interface between human and ecological justice that I want to think through the nature and implications of restorative justice and reconciliation. I would be happy to receive suggestions for these reflections.