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date: 17 October 2017

Abstract and Keywords

This article begins with an overview of the varied meanings of reparation, restoration, and restorative justice, as they are applied in domestic and international contexts of law and criminal justice. It also considers why these terms have become popular in recent decades. Sections II and III explore the history, etymology, and uses of the terms reparation, restoration, and restorative justice, and their links to retribution, restitution, and punishment. Section IV reviews a selected set of practices in domestic and international criminal justice, and transitional justice. The practices associated with reparation and restoration came first, and theories of their social mechanisms came later. Section V describes a selected set of theories, with a focus on behavior, speech, and interaction; and the conclusion considers several key points. Special attention is given to developments in international law and criminal justice, but the focus is on domestic criminal justice.

Keywords: restorative justice, American criminal justice, international law, retribution, restitution, punishment, transitional justice

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