Dalhousie Law Journal


restorative justice, theory, Habermas, universal pragmatics, communicative action, encounter process


The theory of restorative justice has always lagged behind practice. As such, gaps in theory have developed, existed over time and continue to exist today particularly in terms of explaining the so-called "magic" that occurs within the encounter process. Byexploring the theories of Jorgen Habermas, it is suggested that new frameworks can be developed that can help theorists think about and explain the experiences central to restorative processes. This paper focuses on Habermas' theory of universal pragmatics and communicative action as a means to better understand the workings within the encounter process that give rise to common understanding, agreement, learning, and strengthened relationships.