Restorative justice and child sex offences: The theory and the practice

Restorative justice advocates have made a number of claims about the effectiveness of restorative justice in relation to sexual assault crimes, such as its ability to defuse power relations between the parties and heal the harm. This article examines whether or not restorative justice is one of the ways forward in the difficult area of prosecuting child sex offences by re-analysing some of the data reported in Daly (2006) and comparing restorative justice with other reforms to the sexual assault trial. It concludes that there is insufficient evidence to support the view that there are inherent benefits in the restorative justice process that provide victims of sexual assault with a superior form of justice.
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