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Restorative Justice

             During the past century, the english-speaking legal world has experienced real and considerable change in the areas of criminal law and criminal sentencing procedures. These ever-changing systems of legal processes, rules, and theories are typically reflective of the society's cultural make-up, beliefs, and level of social advancement. As the common-law evolves and changes we gain deeper understandings of crime, the motivation of crime, and rehabilitation of criminals. Many legal jurisdictions often adopt different definitions on what is deemed a crime and how to treat criminals; nonetheless, there echoes a consistency that the reduction in the level of criminal activity and the reformation of criminals is a desirable goal. .
             New Zealand, like Canada, faces difficult challenges in her criminal justice system. The apparent similarity in the state of criminal law in these countries and the sharing of common problems is not to be unexpected. Both countries have comparable cultures and similar colonial beginnings. One shared unfavorable demographic phenomenon is both ex-British colonies have an unusually high rate of incarceration for her Aboriginal citizens. The issues stemming from this unfortunate problem have been extensively reported and addressed in both countries. It is arguable; this has lead to the implementation of new restorative justice provisions in both nations" criminal systems. .
             This paper will analyze and remark on both the 1998 Auckland District Court and New Zealand Court of Appeal decisions of R. v. Clotworthy . The objective of this commentary is to examine restorative justice principles and determine if these principles were justly and appropriately applied in the Clotworthy decision; moreover, determine whether the trial judgment or appeal judgment better addresses the concerns of the victim and of larger society. An analysis of New Zealand's application of restorative justice principles is useful in examining the validity of the restorative justice concept.

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