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  • Term Mode
  • Semester 2Online Scheduled



Unit rationale, description and aim

Restorative justice is a collaborative approach to wrongdoing which puts the offender and victim at the center and explores what can be done to repair the harm that has been caused by wrongdoing. It is premised on three central tenets – wrongdoing is a violation of people and relationships; responses to wrongdoing should be inclusive; and, responses to wrongdoing should heal and put things right. This unit will introduce students to some of the restorative justice initiatives which exist alongside and within the criminal justice system.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

Learning Outcome NumberLearning Outcome Description
LO1Describe the ways in which restorative justice operates alongside and within the criminal justice system
LO2Evaluate some of the shortcomings of the traditional criminal justice system approach to crime and victimisation
LO3Critically appraise the challenges facing the use of restorative justice for criminal offending


Topics will include:

1.     Restorative justice and its relationship with the criminal justice system

2.     Youth justice conferences: restorative justice and youth offending

3.     Restorative justice and violent offending

4.     Circle sentencing: restorative justice and Indigenous offending

5.     Restorative justice and gendered/sexual offending (offender focused)

6.     Restorative justice and gendered/sexual offending (victim focused)

7.     Restorative justice after environmental offending I: the front-end (diversion) model

8.     Restorative justice after environmental offending II: the back-end (embedded) model

9.     Restorative justice and global issues: post-apartheid and post-genocide

10.  The future of restorative justice

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit comprises 150 hours of study in total. It will be taught over a 12 week semester and includes one 2-hour lecture followed by a 1-hour tutorial each week or ACU Online 10 week asynchronous delivery mode. The balance of the hours committed to this unit comprise private student study and undertaking of assessments.

The teaching strategy in this unit involves student's active participation in analysis, evaluation and problem-solving in relation to the use of restorative justice in a criminal context. Through the study topics and the scaffolded assessment strategy, students will develop their analysis, evaluation, problem-solving, communication, and presentation skills.

ACU Online

This unit uses an active learning approach to support students in the exploration of knowledge essential to the discipline. Students are provided with choice and variety in how they learn. Students are encouraged to contribute to asynchronous weekly discussions. Active learning opportunities provide students with opportunities to practice and apply their learning in situations similar to their future professions. Activities encourage students to bring their own examples to demonstrate understanding, application and engage constructively with their peers. Students receive regular and timely feedback on their learning, which includes information on their progress.

Assessment strategy and rationale

Assessment is used in this unit as an integral part of the learning process. A scaffold approach is utilised in which the first assessment feeds into the second. Exploration of the literature for the annotated bibliography assessment will feed into the essay, the second assessment, in which you will identify whether the benefits of restorative justice outweigh the limitations in regards to a chosen category of offending. To pass this unit students must attain 50% accumulatively across the assessments.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning Outcomes

Annotated bibliography: requires the annotation of 5 sources leading to a summary of the research relating to whether the benefits of restorative justice outweigh the limitations in regard to a chosen category of offending.


LO1, LO2, LO3

Presentation: requires a pre-recorded presentation to the Minister for Justice who wants an evaluation of restorative justice.

The use of audio, video and PowerPoint Slides is expected, through which the student will explain the use of restorative justice in the category of offending chosen for their annotated bibliography, building on the 5 sources from the annotated bibliography. Students are to describe the use of restorative justice in the chosen category of offending; outline the benefits of restorative justice in that context for the offender, victim and community; outline the limitations of the use of restorative justice in that context and address whether, and how, those limitations can be addressed.


LO1, LO2, LO3

Representative texts and references

A plethora of journal articles, reports and book chapters will be offered through Leganto

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