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Making the Circle Stronger: An Effort to Buttress Aboriginal Use of Restorative Justice in Canada against Recent Criticisms
International Journal of Punishment (2008)
  • David Milward, University of Manitoba School of Law

The reliance of the Canadian criminal justice system on adversarial procedures and incarceration is not very effective or productive when dealing with Aboriginal crime. Restorative justice is often presented as a more constructive way of dealing with Aboriginal crime, and as a solution to Aboriginal over-incarceration. There have however been recent criticisms made against restorative justice that call into question its effectiveness as a medium of social control. These criticisms have the potential to enter policy discourses on justice and frustrate Aboriginal aspirations regarding the use of restorative justice. Restorative justice, notwithstanding the criticisms, still has the potential to provide more constructive and effective responses to Aboriginal crime than adversarial and punitive approaches. The criticisms actually provide valuable insights to Aboriginal peoples. They can use those criticisms to design their restorative justice projects to address those criticisms and avoid the negative consequences predicted by those criticisms. Restorative justice projects will be better and more likely to succeed for it. They may also be more likely to win needed political and financial support as well from Canadian governments. Those studies that do indicate suggest may justify not only a certain optimism for Aboriginal use of restorative justice, but perhaps should motivate Canadian governments to seriously consider a paradigm shift, in terms of spending priorities and policy objectives, when it comes to Aboriginal crime.

  • restorative aboriginal justice canada
Publication Date
Winter December, 2008
Citation Information
David Milward. "Making the Circle Stronger: An Effort to Buttress Aboriginal Use of Restorative Justice in Canada against Recent Criticisms" International Journal of Punishment Vol. 4 Iss. 3 (2008)
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