Debating Law is a new, exciting series that gives scholarly experts the opportunity to offer contrasting perspectives on significant topics of contemporary, general interest. In this first volume of the series Carolyn Hoyle argues that communities and the state should be more restorative in responding to harms caused by crimes, antisocial behaviour and other incivilities. She supports the exclusive use of restorative justice for many non-serious offences, and favours approaches that, by integrating restorative and retributive philosophies, take restorative practices into the 'deep end' of criminal justice. While acknowledging that restorative justice appears to have much to offer in terms of criminal justice reform, Chris Cunneen offers a different account, contending that the theoretical cogency of restorative ideas is limited by their lack of a coherent analysis of social and political power. He goes on to argue that after several decades of experimentation, restorative justice has not produced significant change in the criminal justice system and that the attempt to establish it as a feasible alternative to dominant practices of criminal justice has failed.
This lively and valuable debate will be of great interest to everyone interested in the criminal justice system.