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n Journal for Juridical Science - An international perspective of restorative justice practices and research outcomes

Volume 31, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0258-252X
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Abstract

<b>'n Internasionale perspektief van herstellende geregtigheidspraktyke en navorsingsuitkomste</b> <br>Herstellende geregtigheid is nie 'n nuwe konsep nie en was die dominante kriminele regsmodel in antieke Griekse, Romeinse en Arabiese beskawings asook inheemse gemeenskappe in Suid-Afrika, Australië, Nieu Seeland en Kanada. Westerse lande het herstellende geregtigheid herontdek in die middel 1970s en teen die einde van die 1990s het die meeste Westerse lande wetlike voorsiening gemaak vir herstellende geregtigheidsprogramme. Suid-Afrikaanse wetgewing maak ook voorsiening vir herstellende geregtigheidsprogramme. Herstellende geregtigheid is 'n slagoffer-gesentreerde reaksie op misdaad wat geleenthede bied aan diegene wat die meeste daardeur geraak word - die slagoffer, die oortreder, hul gesinne, en gemeenskapsverteenwoordigers - om direk betrokke te raak by die skade veroorsaak deur misdaad. Dit kan op formele en informele vlak toegepas word. Op formele vlak kan dit deur die regstelsel toegepas word tydens die voorverhoor proses, the voorvonnis stadium, of as deel van voor-vrylatingsprogramme. Op informele vlak kan dit toegepas word om 'n verskeidenheid gemeenskapskonflikte op te los, byvoorbeeld buurtkonflikte, gesinskonflikte en interstaat konflikte. Herstellende geregtigheidsgevalle word meesal verwys deur landdroste, aanklaers en proefbeamptes. Die meeste verwysings is vir misdade soos vandalisme, diefstal van eiendom, motordiefstal, huisbraak, winkeldiefstal, poging tot moord, aanranding en gesinsgeweld en dit is geskik vir mans, vroue en jeugdige oortreders. 'n Groot aantal navorsingsbevindings in verskeie lande toon dat herstellende geregtigheid baie doeltreffend is en dat die meeste slagoffers en oortreders tevrede was met die uitkomste van die proses. Die meeste deelnemers het verder aangedui dat hulle regverdig behandel is en weer sal deelneem aan 'n herstellende geregtigheidsproses. Die kriminele regstelsel word gekritiseer omdat dit 'n Europese wêreldbeskouing van vergelding is wat hoofsaaklik fokus op die oortreder en gerig word deur gekodifiseerde wette en prosedures terwyl die behoeftes van die slagoffer geïgnoreer word. Herstellende geregtigheid word egter ook gekritiseer omdat dit die regsraamwerk en definisies van misdaad aanvaar en dat dit slagoffers se regte kan skaad. Dit word ook bevraagteken of herstellende geregtigheid werklik slagoffers bemagtig aangesien die proses inbreuk kan maak op hulle regte. Verder word geargumenteer dat herstellende geregtigheid die net van sosiale beheer kan verbreed as dit hoofsaaklik gebruik word vir geringe oortredings.

Restorative justice is not a new concept as it was the dominant criminal justice model in ancient Greek, Roman and Arab civilisations as well as indigenous communities in South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Western countries re-discovered restorative justice in the mid 1970s and by the end of the 1990s most Western countries had legalised restorative justice programmes. South African legislation also makes provision for restorative justice processes. Restorative justice is a victim-centered response to crime that provides opportunities for those most directly affected by crime - the victim, the offender, their families, and representatives of the community - to be directly involved in responding to the harm caused by the crime. It can be applied at the formal and informal level. At the formal level the criminal justice system can apply it during the pre-trial process, the pre-sentencing process, or in pre-release programmes. At the informal level it can be applied to solve a variety of community conflicts, neighbourhood conflicts, family conflicts and interstate conflicts. Most restorative justice cases are referred by magistrates, prosecutors and probation officers. Common referrals are vandalism, theft of property, car theft, burglary, shop theft, attempted homicide, assault and domestic violence and it is appropriate for males, females and young offenders. A large number of research findings across countries indicate that restorative justice is very effective and that most victims and offenders were satisfied with the outcomes of the process. Most participants indicated that they had been fairly treated and that they would again participate in a restorative justice process. The criminal justice system is criticised for being a European worldview of a retributive justice philosophy that is largely offender focussed and guided by codified laws and rules of procedure while ignoring the needs of the victim. Restorative justice is, however, also criticised for adopting the legal framework and definitions of crime and that it can put victims' rights at risk. It is also questioned whether restorative justice empowers victims as the process rather seems to entrench them as victims. It is furthermore argued that restorative justice can widen the net of social control if it is mostly used for minor offences.

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/content/juridic/31/1/EJC55565
2006-06-01
2016-12-10

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