There is something in restorative justice that resembles art: creativity and rigour, imagination and insight, preparation and improvisation, vocation and inclination, talent and (soft) skill(s). Both (good) restorative justice and (good) art are groundbreaking and far-reaching; both bring about ruptures with mainstream practices and ‘classic’ thoughts and trigger innovation; both carry a ‘political’ dimension when denouncing problems and/or advocating transformations; both pioneer cultural change and may even give rise to new paradigms, either by reaching out to the ‘new’ and the unexpected or by resuming and revitalising the past. The intimate bonds between restorative justice and art are also made visible theoretically by the philosophical connections between restorative justice and aesthetics in the field of the theory of judgment. The increasing interest around restorative justice and its steady growth in recent years expose restorative justice to new risks, such as over-professionalisation, resulting in the loss of the (original) ‘art’ and creating a great(er) gap between the (necessary) vocational nature of restorative processes and their actual daily practice.
- Restorative justice
- Soft skills
- Restorative justice and aesthetics
- Theory of judgment