The Restorative Justice System - An Alternative to the Official Criminal System

Author:Monica Pocora
Position:Senior Lecturer, PhD, Faculty of Law, 'Danubius' University of Galati
Legal Sciences in the New Millennium
The Restorative Justice System - An Alternative
to the Official Criminal System
Monica Pocora
Abstract: The victims‟ discontent regarding the retributive justice s ystem, the failure to achieve the
punishment‟s goal aiming to decrease the risk to repeat the offence, the increasing role of the victim in the
criminal trial, the high cost that the criminal procedures imply, the courts‟ overload have determined the
evolution of the restorative justice ideas. Therefore, the victim received an active role in the process of
solving the conflicts submitted to the court, while the offender‟s role is to assume the responsib ility and to
repair the harm he caused. While the classic justice system is based on the idea that any felony brings har m to
the state itself, the restorative justice model is based on the idea that any offence is firstly a conflict between
individuals, causing damage and harm to the victim, to the community, and to the offender himself.
Keywords: alternative; early prevention; damage repair; restitution
1. Introduction
The restorative justice concept has various meanings, thus it can be considered even an umbrella-
concept, covering many practices, models and programs.
The restorative justice is frequently perceived as a return to the traditional practices, but sometimes is
considered to be a new structure, a viable strategy which may contribute to modern justice system
improvement. Within the retributive criminal trial, applying a sentence, a penalty, does not mean that
the offender is aware of the harm he produced, nor does he assume the responsibility for his crime.
Considering the need to identify some adequate answers to prevent and control the crime, some
countries have looked for adequate solutions to reduce it. A possible answer came from the
introduction in some states‟ law systems of the restorative justice concept, as an alternate way to solve
2. Traditional Meaning, Trends, Main Targets
The restorative justice reassertion has been proved by the increasing number of the restorative justice
programs in various countries. Therefore, this program became an integrating component of those
systems (in Romania for instance, the unpaid community work doesn‟t have its own legal provision,
but it is governed a supervision obligation see the Romanian Penal Code, art. 103 (3). In other
countries, the restorative justice system has already gained a position as an alternative to the official
criminal system.
1 Senior Lecturer, PhD, Faculty of Law, “Danubius” University o f Galati, Address: 3 Galati Boulevard, 800654 Galati,
Romania, Tel.: +40.372.361.102, Fax: +40.372.361.290, Corresponding author: monicapocora@univ-danubius. ro.

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