Volume 18, Issue 1/2, 2009
The Intersection of Restorative Justice with Trauma Healing, Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding
Although it originated in criminal justice, restorative justice is essentially a peacebuilding or conflict transformation approach to justice. The crossdisciplinary experience at the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding has suggested some important lessons for restorative justice, peacebuilding and related fields. These include the role of trauma and victimization in justice and peacebuilding; the significance of justice questions in trauma and conflict resolution; the importance of addressing responsibilities as well as needs; the role of shame, storytelling and empathy; the commonality of underlying values; the need for our fields to address underlying issues of bias and structure; and the susceptibility of our fields to unintended consequences. Restorative justice suggests some questions and issues that may be of use to peacebuilding practitioners in general. Above all, it is important for all of us to see ourselves within a larger umbrella of peacebuilding; this will require that we move from competition to collaboration and adopt a common vision of "justpeace."