In this discussion paper from Restorative Justice to Transformative Justice the author talks about conflict in our society, our Justice System and the way in which the Restorative Justice system works.
Conflict is the result of behavior of an individual or group that is defined by another as inappropriate. Conflict among people is inevitable because it involves labeling behavior of right and wrong which is present in all aspects of our private and public life. Conflict causes pain and loss and can destroy relationships. Their can also be positive effects to conflict. Conflict can provide an opportunity for growth and moral development as we learn from our mistakes. The way we think about a conflict establishes a set of rules by which a successful outcome can be measured. Defining a conflict one way brings certain issues to the foreground and pushes others to the background.
In our society conflicts can be settled in our court system or more informally such as human rights tribunals, labor relations boards or the restorative justice system. The relationship of the people involved and the subject matter of the conflict often determines in which manner it will be settled, through the courts or informally. Restorative Justice is a general approach to conflict that help the offender make amends, and enables the victim to feel some sense of healing.
Justice means attaining a position in which the conduct or actions of individuals is considered to be fair, right and appropriate for a given circumstance. Many Canadians over the past decade have criticized the law for not being able to control the amount of crime in our society. In particular, with reference to our young offenders concerns, have also been adressed about the ability of our correctional system to rehabilitate offenders. Our criminal system leaves the victims confused and angry and often encourages the offender to plead guilty in order to receive a more lenient sentence.