Chapter 2: A comparative look at criminal reconciliation: a transplant of restorative justice?
This chapter derives from the heated debate especially among domestic Chinese scholars over the ‘nature’ (xingzhi) of criminal reconciliation, namely, whether it is China’s transplant of restorative justice, or a purely indigenous Chinese practice. It provides a comparative study of criminal reconciliation and restorative justice. On the one hand, this chapter analyses three essential discrepancies between these two systems, including the different roles of community or society, of ‘reintegrative shaming’ and the ultimate goals embedded in the two systems. On the other hand, for further illustrating these discrepancies, this chapter provides the author’s observation notes of three restorative justice meetings in Brisbane, Australia in 2009. The discussion of the theory and practice of restorative justice in this chapter is also helpful as to understanding the gap between criminal reconciliation ‘on paper’ and it ‘in practice’ as shown in the ensuing three chapters.
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