The International Journal of Restorative Justice

Annual lecture

Restorative justice and criminal justice: limits and possibilities for Brazil and Latin America

Keywords Justice restorative, criminal justice, punishment, Brazil, Latin America
Authors Vera Regina Pereira de Andrade
Author's information

321444 Vera Regina Pereira de Andrade
Vera Regina Pereira de Andrade is Emeritus Professor, Federal University of Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, Brazil. Contact author: vrpandrade@hotmail.com.
  • Abstract

      This article is based on the 2017 RJIJ annual lecture and seeks to examine the development of the restorative justice movement within the judiciary in Brazil (‘judicial restorative justice’) in the last decade or so (2005-2017). The focus is on its relation to penal justice, listing the main possibilities and challenges in the Latin American context. The main question I wish to address is how does restorative justice, being led by the judiciary in Brazil, look like? When, where, how and under which theoretical and methodological angles is it being developed? What are the human and material resources being used? How can the relationship between restorative justice and the current Brazilian criminal justice system be understood? My hypothesis is that judicial restorative justice in Brazil is going through a process of expansion and development, framing a paradigm that is under construction and in which, despite the possibilities of challenging and transforming the current justice system, it has been nevertheless colonised by this same justice system. Therefore, restorative justice is being left to deal with low-level crimes and facing structural and conjectural limits to the concretisation of its objectives. In addition, the field in Brazil is hit by a structural lack of dialogue with other Latin American countries, which results in a mutual impoverishment of sorts, as the ‘restorativism’ currently experienced, hither and thither, is heated up by the intersection of emancipatory principles and values.

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