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Artikel

Structureel onrecht, maatschappelijke bewegingen en herstelrecht

Reflecties op basis van een rondetafelgesprek

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift voor Herstelrecht, Aflevering 2 2021
Trefwoorden social justice, environmental justice, racial justice, maatschappelijke context, structureel onrecht
Auteurs Ivo Aertsen, Anneke van Hoek, Nyanchama Okemwa e.a.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Restorative justice as implemented in many countries adopts a rather narrow approach, where responding to crime and other types of injustice is being restricted to the interpersonal level. ‘Society’ as important pillar in ­restorative justice does not play an ­important role in daily practice, and ­linkages to the institutional and political ­level are seldom established. Such practice risks to replicate or to strengthen structural inequalities in society. One possible strategy to deal with this challenge, is to engage in network oriented ­approaches in order to develop a better understanding of system injustices, and to contribute to more encom­passing and sustainable response mechanisms in society. Can and should the restorative justice movement build alliances with other social movements in order to realise this perspective? The article is structured along the following lines. First, various visions of ‘structural violence’ are reflected upon. Reference is made, for example, to the issue of ­(de)colonisation and concomitant forms of ‘epistemic injustice’. Considerable attention is given to the complexity and the multilayered nature of underlying causes of injus­tices in the respective social fields, and to the risk of simplification and polarisation in society but also within social movements. The discussion then fo­cuses on practices of dealing with conflict, diversity and participatory decision making within the respective social movements, and whether and how restorative justice can offer inspiration and practical support. Thirdly, broader strategies on social transformation are discussed, dealing with, for example, how the interchangeable roles of warrior and healer can be adopted, and how, at a more general level, restorative oriented partnerships can be formed.


Ivo Aertsen
Ivo Aertsen is emeritus gewoon hoogleraar KU Leuven, Leuvens Instituut voor Criminologie. Hij is actief betrokken bij het European Forum for Restorative Justice en bij meerdere onderzoeks- en praktijkontwikkelingen op het vlak van het herstelrecht, van het lokale Leuven Restorative City, de Vlaamse bemiddelingsdienst Moderator tot The International Journal of Restorative Justice. Redactielid van het Tijdschrift voor Herstelrecht.

Anneke van Hoek
Anneke van Hoek is criminoloog, medeoprichter en voorzitter van het bestuur van Stichting Radio La Benevolencija, die zich richt op de preventie van etnocentrisch geweld en het stimuleren van traumaverwerking in post-conflict landen. Ze is medeoprichter en lid van het Management Team van Stichting Restorative Justice Nederland (RJN). Redactielid van het Tijdschrift voor Herstelrecht.

Nyanchama Okemwa
Nyanchama Okemwa is dekoloniaal deskundige, Pan-Afrikanist en verdediger van de mensenrechten. Reeds dertig jaar is ze een activiste die zich inzet in de strijd tegen racisme en discriminatie. Momenteel werkt zij als consultant en coach voor de vzw Hand in Hand tegen Racisme (Brussel).

Sophie Van Reeth
Sophie Van Reeth is activiste en studente geschiedenis Universiteit Antwerpen, en communicatiecoördinator bij PUNT.vzw. Ze is auteur van het boek ‘Genoeg Gezwegen, Getuigenissen over seksueel misbruik’ (2020).

Peter Vermeersch
Peter Vermeersch, hoogleraar aan de Faculteit Sociale Wetenschappen KU Leuven. Zijn onderzoek is toegespitst op politieke ontwikkelingen in Oost-Europa, minderhedenpolitiek, nationalisme en democratische innovatie. Hij publiceert regelmatig essays en literaire non-fictie. In 2019 verscheen 'Aantekeningen bij een moord', het verslag van een assisenproces in Brussel en een persoonlijke zoektocht naar een betere omgang met geweld, straf en rechtspraak.

Anneke Wensing
Anneke Wensing is klimaatactiviste, actief bij de Nederlandse actiegroep Code Rood en de Shell Must Fall-campagne. Daarnaast is ze betrokken bij een Utrechtse groep die zich verzet tegen de verbreding van een snelweg ten koste van het bos van Amelisweerd.
Artikel

Welke samenleving in het herstelrecht?

Uitdagingen voor burgerschap en samenlevingsopbouw

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift voor Herstelrecht, Aflevering 4 2020
Trefwoorden burgerschap, samenlevingsopbouw, samenleving als actor, Vreedzame Wijk, Eigen Kracht-conferentie
Auteurs Ivo Aertsen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article discusses the concepts of society and community involvement as they appeared in the articles of the Dutch-Flemish Tijdschrift voor Herstelrecht (Journal of Restorative Justice) during last 20 years. It shows how the journal from its very beginning adopted a strong focus on criminal justice reform, although restorative practices within the community occupied a considerable space in the consecutive volumes as well. Studies on restorative justice programmes in Belgium and The Netherlands, such as victim-offender mediation and family-group conferences, revealed a predominant orientation on interpersonal relationships stressing the role of the community of care. In the same sense, also community mediation and other community oriented restorative practices focus on the personal well-being of people and the improvement of personal and social relationships. Hence, both theory and practice face two important challenges in developing restorative justice: (1) which role to give to a larger community and how to operationalize its involvement, and (2) how to deal with underlying causes of crime and social-structural injustices? Referring to European action-research projects and to conceptual models developed outside Europe, a case is made for designing restorative justice methodologies and programmes involving civil society in a more encompassing way and linking micro to macro societal levels. Developing strategic alliances with new social movements could be the way forward.


Ivo Aertsen
Ivo Aertsen is redacteur van dit tijdschrift en hoofdredacteur van The International Journal on Restorative Justice.
Artikel

De maatschappelijke en politieke dimensies van herstelrecht: over het verbreden van de herstelrechtelijke blik

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift voor Herstelrecht, Aflevering 4 2020
Trefwoorden populisme, Boutellier, MeToo, Black Lives Matter, klimaatdemonstraties
Auteurs Anneke van Hoek
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article states that the social and political context in which restorative justice is situated, needs more attention. The polarized rhetoric of populists with their plea for more state control and repression does not fit with the restorative approach with its emphasis on inclusion and social responsibility of active citizens. The author suggests that the paradigm of ‘positive security’ as coined by Marc Schuilenburg and others could function as a base for an alternative, more constructive and inclusive ‘big story’ on crime and security that is more akin to restorative justice. Aspects of current social protest movements as the MeToo movement, Black Lives Matter and climate demonstrations could be integrated in this ‘big story’, also to prevent that restorative justice is viewed only as a quick fix to soothe symptoms and not address political and social root causes of injustice. In this way, the international restorative justice movement could widen its scope.


Anneke van Hoek
Anneke van Hoek is zelfstandig gevestigd criminoloog en medeoprichter van Restorative Justice Nederland en Stichting Radio La Benevolencija.
Artikel

Het verontschuldigingsritueel en herstelrecht

Het slachtofferperspectief

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift voor Herstelrecht, Aflevering 1 2018
Trefwoorden apology ritual, The victim perspective, Sincerity, Physical aspect of apology, symbolic meaning of apology
Auteurs Inge Vanfraechem, Daniela Bolívar en Ivo Aertsen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Empirical research on restorative justice shows that offenders can apologise to victims. Because of the ritual component of restorative justice and the possible influence on the justice system, certain questions arise: how do victims perceive these apologies? Is it important for victims that these apologies are sincere? The aim of the article is to discuss these questions through three topics, namely the physical aspect of the ritual, the symbolic meaning for victims and the relation between the offender’s apologies and the victim’s reaction.


Inge Vanfraechem
Inge Vanfraechem is consultant (Libra), senior vrijwillig wetenschappelijk medewerkers KU Leuven en redactielid van dit tijdschrift.

Daniela Bolívar
Daniela Bolívar is assistant professor aan de School of Social Work, Catholic University of Chile. Ze is board member van de International Journal of Restorative Justice en heeft een onderzoeksproject rond bemiddeling en jeugddelinquenten in Chili afgerond.

Ivo Aertsen
Ivo Aertsen is professor herstelrecht en victimologie aan de KU Leuven en redactielid van dit tijdschrift.
Artikel

Ideologische vertekeningen binnen straf- en herstelrecht

Oorsprongsverhalen en de dwaling van zelfbeschadiging

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift voor Herstelrecht, Aflevering 1 2016
Trefwoorden Oorsprongsverhalen, Zelfbeschadiging, Chaos, Harmonie
Auteurs Vincent Geeraets
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Adherents to restorative justice are to be commended for systematically questioning whether the manner in which criminal law is currently organised is a good thing. The debate about criminal justice and restorative justice is therefore an important one. It is also a debate which is occasionally marred by a reliance on ideology. In this article, a number of ideological claims are identified and discussed. First, both adherents to criminal law and supporters of restorative justice invoke an ‘origin story’ to defend their view. The origin story of criminal law consists of the idea that without criminal law the world would be a chaos, i.e. the world would resemble the state of nature as depicted by Hobbes. In contrast: the origin story of restorative justice revolves around the idea that without central authority people tend to resolve their conflicts harmoniously. I argue that neither types of origin story can withstand scrutiny. Secondly, in both the context of criminal law (e.g. Antony Duff) and restorative justice (e.g. Jacques Claessen), it is claimed that an individual by violating the rules harms himself as a person. The point of punishment (criminal justice) respectively reparation (restorative justice) therefore is to enable the offender to restore himself and to once again take up his role of citizen. I argue that the claim of self-harm may be based on a primitive worldview. Moreover, I show that this claim can be used to describe criminal law respectively restorative justice in terms that are too harmonious. In this way we lose sight of the coercion and violence that is involved in both contexts.


Vincent Geeraets
Vincent Geeraets is docent rechtstheorie aan de Faculteit der Rechtsgeleerdheid, VU Amsterdam.
Artikel

Actieve rechtvaardigheid

Herstelrecht als vruchtbare bodem voor de uitoefening van burgerschap

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift voor Herstelrecht, Aflevering 3 2013
Auteurs Brunilda Pali
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The article reflects on the conceptual work undertaken during the first year of ALTERNATIVE, a project coordinated by KU Leuven. The overall objective of the project is to provide an alternative and deepened understanding of justice and security based on empirical evidence of how to handle conflicts within intercultural contexts, mainly through the active participation of citizens. The paper focuses mainly on the relation of the concept of citizenship with restorative justice, especially as viewed and enacted in the four intercultural settings of the ALTERNATIVE project. Several issues are discussed: the concept of participatory citizenship in relation to crime and conflict; the claim of the discourse of restorative justice to the concept of participatory citizenship and democracy and the challenges in the restorative justice discourse that complicate its relationship to participatory citizenship. Next, insight is provided in the ways the ALTERNATIVE project tries to tackle some of these challenges, by exploring and strengthening the relationship between the concept of active citizenship and justice in Europe. By targeting the intercultural field the ALTERNATIVE aims to explore the potential of mediation services and restorative justice models to engage with macro societal conflicts that are not referred to these services by the criminal justice system, and on the other hand expand the way some of the crimes referred by the criminal justice system are handled by the mediation services alternatively by fostering alliances with various civil society organisations. Employing ‘action research’ methodology, it is argued that the concept and framework of ‘nodal governance’ (Shearing and Wood, 2003) can serve to support participatory modes of conflict regulation. Interactive settings are created, which allow for spaces between informal and formal justice, and between justice mechanisms at the individual and at the societal level (Aertsen, 2001, 2008). Arguments are provided in support of the need to promote broader models of restorative justice which are able to address social and systemic crimes and conflicts, and which will help the theory and practice of RJ to move beyond the individualisation of crime and its remedies.


Brunilda Pali
Brunilda Pali is onderzoekster aan het Criminologisch Instituut, KU Leuven (LINC). Daar werkt zij aan een proefschrift over ethiek en herstelrecht, als onderdeel van het onderzoek verricht binnen het ALTERNATIVE-project.
Artikel

Slachtofferbewegingen en herstelrecht

Over het belang van de realiteit achter de stereotypes

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift voor Herstelrecht, Aflevering 4 2011
Trefwoorden victimology, victim movements, social movements, restorative justice
Auteurs Antony Pemberton
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The position of victims of crime has shown marked improvement over the past 30 years. The rise of the victim has been associated with the growth of a unified ‘victim movement’; a social movement that strives to improve the position of victims of crime. However, it is questionable whether the victim movement should be viewed as a unitary phenomenon. Instead of one movement, there appear to be a number of victim movements. There are differences between the victim advocates in the United States, Victim Support in Europe, the violence against women movement and proponents of restorative justice.. In this article, reasons for these differences are sought in victim-endogenous factors: differences in victims’ characteristics and the idealtypes employed by the different movements are an important explanation for the divergent development in organisations representing victims interests, which in turn influences their policy preferences. It is argued that advocates of restorative justice would benefit from understanding both the reality and the distortion involved in the idealtypes, including their own. This would allow proponents of restorative justice to adapt their practices in a manner that is both suitable and convincing to the representative and target group of the different victim movements.


Antony Pemberton
Dr. Antony Pemberton is sociaalwetenschapper en universitair hoofddocent bij het International Victimology Institute Tilburg (INTERVICT) van de Universiteit van Tilburg.
Artikel

Herstelrecht in Nederland: een slachtofferperspectief

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift voor Herstelrecht, Aflevering 4 2010
Trefwoorden restorative justice, paradigma, tailoring, victims
Auteurs Marc Groenhuijsen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The author advises the protagonists of restorative justice to become less paradigmatic and more pragmatic in their approach of criminal justice and victims needs and interests. The offer of a restorative procedure is not suitable for all victims, nor for all thinkable moments after the event of a crime. Tailoring is needed to make each victim the best offer, and the utility of restorative justice is important, but limited. The author believes that much of the restorative justice literature is aiming at proving the superiority of restorative justice practices above any other type of intervention or service, and he feels that this is partly why restorative justice has not been well received in the Netherlands. A piecemeal implementation of mediation and conferencing in the sphere of criminal justice might be served by being less paradigmatic.


Marc Groenhuijsen
Marc Groenhuijsen is hoogleraar straf(proces)recht, verbonden aan de Universiteit Tilburg en Intervict.
Artikel

Het herstelrechtelijk ongeloof in het concept bestraffing

Een verkenning op basis van het ‘last resort’-principe

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift voor Herstelrecht, Aflevering 3 2010
Trefwoorden bestraffing, abolitionisme, last resort, criminele gedragingen, leedtoevoeging
Auteurs Vicky De Mesmaecker
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Discussions in the movement of restorative justice about the fundamental question, whether its interventions are alternatives to punishment or alternative punishments, have become repetitive and seem to be in a dead end. The author reviews the arguments against the background of the ‘last resort’ principle in Husak’s work. Husak distinguishes between last resort in terms of sentencing and last resort in terms of criminalization. Since the restorative justice movement does not fundamentally reject the primary criminalisations, but accepts the definitions of certain forms of conduct as crime, it merely strives to offer alternatives to punishments that would otherwise be imposed. If protagonists of restorative justice want to avoid this, they should consider an abolitionist option to strive for decriminalization.


Vicky De Mesmaecker
Vicky De Mesmaecker is werkzaam aan het Leuvens Instituut voor Criminologie, K.U.Leuven.
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