Development of Restorative Justice in China: Theory and Practice
AbstractRestorative justice has become a global social movement for criminal justice reform, with over eighty countries adopting some form of restorative justice program to tackle their crime problems. The theory of restorative justice was introduced to the Chinese academia in 2002. So far, various restorative justice programs have been developed in China. This paper aims to systematically review the development of restorative justice in China by analyzing academic literature on restorative justice and key legislative documentations. Major debates in restorative justice among Chinese scholars and a review of the indigenous restorative justice practice, criminal reconciliation (Xingshi Hejie), are provided. The study also analyzes the impetus of this soaring popularity of restorative justice in China, considering the macro social, political and legal background. Last but not least, a review of the major evaluation studies of current programs reveals that little is known about the process of various restorative justice programs from the parties’ own perspective.
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