Department of Applied Social Sciences, City University Of Hong Kong
Restorative justice, an imported western idea of crime prevention and control, has been flourished in both Taiwan and the mainland China (China) over the past twenty years. New laws and regulations are established to make restorative justice work. Interestingly, the distinction between restorative justice and mediation in both Taiwan and China is not very clear. The Chinese translated term of restorative justice is not as well-known as the term tiaojie (mediation) in the Chinese communities. China is one of the historic cradles of mediation and tiaojie is generally conceived as a high order terminology which covers all kinds of mediation practices including family, community, judicial, and criminal mediation.
Debates on whether restorative justice should be adopted, and how it could be fitted into the criminal justice system or Chinese traditional cultures, have become frequent among different camps of academia and criminal justice professionals. This paper focuses only on a specific kind of mediation i.e. victim-offender mediation in Taiwan and China. It highlights the current practices, its operation, and its connection to Chinese traditional culture. The paper also discusses challenges facing the development of restorative justice in the Greater China region.
Dennis Wong is currently a Professor of Social Work and Criminology at the Department of Applied Social Sciences, City University of Hong Kong. He also serves as associate dean at the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. His research interests include juvenile delinquency, school bullying and cyber-bullying, offender rehabilitation and restorative justice.