Co-ordinating Canada's Restorative and Inclusionary Models of Criminal Justice: The Legal Profession and the Exercise of Discretion Under a Reflexive Rule of Law

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Canada, Criminal Justice, Criminal Trial, Restorative Justice, Advantages and Limitations


Canadian criminal justice has moved to a hybrid system involving a formal but inclusionary criminal trial as the predominant model with an informal restorative justice model as an increasingly significant alternative. This system invokes traditional punitive, rehabilitative and corrective elements yet deploys them in new institutionalized contexts. The formal inclusionary model integrates victims' concerns at all levels from policing and prosecution through the trial to sentencing and parole, while maintaining due process protections for the accused. The informal restorative model responds to criminal harms by bringing together victims, offenders, their respective families and community representatives in deliberative processes which can result in accountability, reparation and community based solutions that go to the root of crime causation. Both the formal inclusionary and restorative models have advantages and limitations