Justice in service of the humane. How Preventive Law could be complemented by Restorative Justice.

  • S. Pieters Kwiers

Student thesis: Master's Thesis: Humanistic Studies


Various legal and social scholars have observed an increasing juridification and pluralization of society, that our current justice system has not yet adapted to. There are a number of new approaches that try to address the increasingly diverse and dynamic context in which the justice system must function. In this thesis two of these alternative legal approaches are brought together. By bringing literature from both fields together, I aim to explore to what extent preventive law and restorative justice might complement each other in addressing the new challenges the justice system must adapt to, if it is to be a humanizing system that generates durable solutions that are conducive to the well-being of a pluralist society. The hypothesis is that together they might inform a justice system with values and practices that accommodate the complexity of current social reality and actively involve citizens in solving their conflicts in a more humane way. The literature study shows that both preventive law and restorative justice offer approaches to justice that are mindful of the relational and contextual nature of conflicts, allowing the stakeholders involved to actively participate in formulating durable solutions. Preventive law covers the necessary competences of legal professionals and is focussed on civil law, while restorative justice provides a framework for deliberative practices and an alternative to the current criminal justice system. The two approaches therefore have considerable potential to be complementary to one another and their possible combination should be of interest to anyone wishing to reform the current justice system.
Date of Award1 Jan 2018
Original languageAmerican English
SupervisorN. L. Immler (Supervisor) & M.J. Trappenburg (Supervisor)

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