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The Implementation and Impact of Restorative Justice Programmes in Albania and Cuba

Borgarsson, Bjarni Freyr LU (2015) RÄSM02 20151
Department of Sociology of Law
Abstract
In this master´s thesis I seek to explore the concept of restorative justice, an ideological approach to justice which aims to repair the harm caused by crime through means of communication, cooperation, participation and restoration. By involving all parties affected by crime, restorative justice seeks to address crime through empowering victims, increasing community cohesion and making offenders take responsibility through restorative measures. This tradition for conflict resolution has been pre-dominant through most of mankind´s history but disappeared for a while. In recent years, however, this ideology has emerged again and is now becoming increasingly popular.

In this paper I will explore the implementation processes of... (More)
In this master´s thesis I seek to explore the concept of restorative justice, an ideological approach to justice which aims to repair the harm caused by crime through means of communication, cooperation, participation and restoration. By involving all parties affected by crime, restorative justice seeks to address crime through empowering victims, increasing community cohesion and making offenders take responsibility through restorative measures. This tradition for conflict resolution has been pre-dominant through most of mankind´s history but disappeared for a while. In recent years, however, this ideology has emerged again and is now becoming increasingly popular.

In this paper I will explore the implementation processes of restorative justice in Albania and Cuba, both aided by the Norwegian Mediation Services. Shortly after the fall of communism, Albania started developing programmes of a restorative nature in order to respond to the social chaos that emerged after its transition. Currently, Cuba faces similar problems as it prepares for their transition that may affect millions of Cuban citizens. In 2015, a pilot project started in Cuba with the aim of implementing restorative justice as an alternative within its judicial structure. It is my hope that by comparing the projects of Albania and Cuba it will be possible to identify pitfalls and issue areas that may emerge in transitional countries. Similarly, strengths and successes will be identified for furthering the development of restorative justice.

This study was performed by applying a twofold methodological framework. Firstly, I conducted an extensive literature review, analysing numerous previous research studies. Secondly I conducted two interviews and observed participants over the course of one week, transcribing the data. The theoretical framework applied is also twofold. In order to explain social control, norms and values as well as the co-existence of customary law with state law, theories of legal pluralism and Ehrlich´s living law were applied. In order to explain effects of normlessness and social disintegration following transitional reforms, Durkheim´s theory of anomie was applied. The findings were interesting; if Cuba´s current situation is compared to the Albanian experience, issues could emerge. Cuba possesses widespread participatory mechanisms and strong community cohesion which reinforce social norms and social control. Market reforms and increased individuality could lead to a breakdown in those social fields, increasing crime and abnormal behaviour. For that reason, the necessity of a well implemented restorative justice structure is obvious. It may serve as a foundation for norm-clarifications and conflict resolution in the years ahead. (Less)
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author
Borgarsson, Bjarni Freyr LU
supervisor
organization
course
RÄSM02 20151
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Kanun Laws, Formal/Informal Social Control, Customary Law, State Law, Legal Pluralism, Mediation, Restorative Justice, Retributive Justice, Albania, Cuba, The Norwegian Mediation Services
language
English
id
7867786
date added to LUP
2015-12-03 14:32:09
date last changed
2015-12-03 14:32:14
@misc{7867786,
  abstract     = {In this master´s thesis I seek to explore the concept of restorative justice, an ideological approach to justice which aims to repair the harm caused by crime through means of communication, cooperation, participation and restoration. By involving all parties affected by crime, restorative justice seeks to address crime through empowering victims, increasing community cohesion and making offenders take responsibility through restorative measures. This tradition for conflict resolution has been pre-dominant through most of mankind´s history but disappeared for a while. In recent years, however, this ideology has emerged again and is now becoming increasingly popular.

In this paper I will explore the implementation processes of restorative justice in Albania and Cuba, both aided by the Norwegian Mediation Services. Shortly after the fall of communism, Albania started developing programmes of a restorative nature in order to respond to the social chaos that emerged after its transition. Currently, Cuba faces similar problems as it prepares for their transition that may affect millions of Cuban citizens. In 2015, a pilot project started in Cuba with the aim of implementing restorative justice as an alternative within its judicial structure. It is my hope that by comparing the projects of Albania and Cuba it will be possible to identify pitfalls and issue areas that may emerge in transitional countries. Similarly, strengths and successes will be identified for furthering the development of restorative justice.

This study was performed by applying a twofold methodological framework. Firstly, I conducted an extensive literature review, analysing numerous previous research studies. Secondly I conducted two interviews and observed participants over the course of one week, transcribing the data. The theoretical framework applied is also twofold. In order to explain social control, norms and values as well as the co-existence of customary law with state law, theories of legal pluralism and Ehrlich´s living law were applied. In order to explain effects of normlessness and social disintegration following transitional reforms, Durkheim´s theory of anomie was applied. The findings were interesting; if Cuba´s current situation is compared to the Albanian experience, issues could emerge. Cuba possesses widespread participatory mechanisms and strong community cohesion which reinforce social norms and social control. Market reforms and increased individuality could lead to a breakdown in those social fields, increasing crime and abnormal behaviour. For that reason, the necessity of a well implemented restorative justice structure is obvious. It may serve as a foundation for norm-clarifications and conflict resolution in the years ahead.},
  author       = {Borgarsson, Bjarni Freyr},
  keyword      = {Kanun Laws,Formal/Informal Social Control,Customary Law,State Law,Legal Pluralism,Mediation,Restorative Justice,Retributive Justice,Albania,Cuba,The Norwegian Mediation Services},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {The Implementation and Impact of Restorative Justice Programmes in Albania and Cuba},
  year         = {2015},
}