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Critical Issues in Restorative Justice - LAWS8117
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Faculty: Faculty of Law
School:  Faculty of Law
Course Outline: See below
Campus: Kensington Campus
Career: Postgraduate
Units of Credit: 6
EFTSL: 0.12500 (more info)
Indicative Contact Hours per Week: 2
Enrolment Requirements:
Pre-requisite: Academic Program must be 9200 or 9210 or 9230 or 5740 or 9285 or 5285 or 9235 or 5235 or 9220 or 5750.
CSS Contribution Charge:Band 3 (more info)
Further Information: See Class Timetable


Restorative Justice (RJ) is a term that encompasses a range of non-adversarial approaches to criminal justice. These processes focus on engaging affected parties in decision-making aimed at repairing the harm caused by crime. The course will consider international developments in RJ, the major forms of RJ used in Australia (e.g. youth conferencing, forum sentencing) and related national and international developments (e.g. circle sentencing, transitional justice, truth and reconciliation commissions). The course will include critical analysis of RJ with reference to: its theoretical underpinnings, the social, political and cultural contexts in which it is used, and whether it is appropriate for some/all forms of offending/offenders

LLM Specialisations

Recommended Prior Knowledge


Course Aims

  • Demonstrate an understanding of key concepts of restorative justice;
  • Engage in debate concerning restorative practices;
  • Undertake research in the field of restorative justice, and critically analyse restorative justice practices.

Learning Outcomes

A student who has successfully completed this course should be able to:
  • Demonstrate a sound understanding of key concepts in restorative justice;
  • Demonstrate a sound understanding of the suitability of restorative processes to particular situations;
  • Critically examine the use of restorative justice in contemporary criminal practice;
  • Examine restorative justice within the wider social and political context;
  • Demonstrate effective written and oral communication skills;
  • Undertake legal research and writing in the field;
  • Undertake interdisciplinary research concerning restorative justice practice.

Main Topics

Criminal justice
Criminal law
Dispute resolution
Non-adversarial practices
Restorative Justice


Class participation 15%
Class presentation 15%
Research essay 70%

Course Texts

To be advised


A full up-to date reading list will be provided in the course outline.

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© The University of New South Wales (CRICOS Provider No.: 00098G), 2004-2011. The information contained in this Handbook is indicative only. While every effort is made to keep this information up-to-date, the University reserves the right to discontinue or vary arrangements, programs and courses at any time without notice and at its discretion. While the University will try to avoid or minimise any inconvenience, changes may also be made to programs, courses and staff after enrolment. The University may also set limits on the number of students in a course.