Asian Journal of Criminology

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 23–38 | Cite as

Persia to China: the Silk Road of Restorative Justice I

  • John Braithwaite
  • Yan ZhangEmail author


This paper to the 2016 Beijing meeting of the Asian Criminological Society is the first of two lectures on the theme of The Silk Road of Restorative Justice. The second is the annual lecture of the European Forum for Restorative Justice held jointly with the Asia-Pacific Forum for Restorative Justice in Milan (Braithwaite 2017). This first paper opens the idea of restorative justice as a way of thinking that flows back and forth along the Silk Road with a special focus on the development of relational, republican, and feminist thought in ancient and modern China and Persia. Both contemporary China and Iran are left today with quite a universal yet modest national policy of support for restorative justice. Some co-optation of restorative justice by the state and disengagement from it by many key justice professionals are evident in both China and Iran. The second paper argues more normatively for openness to hybridity along the Silk Road. It identifies virtues of being a republican-socialist-capitalist-feminist advocate of restorative justice in light of what we learn along the Silk Road. The unifying message of both papers is that excellence in restorative justice is nurtured by travelling many roads in search of helpful hybrids.


Restorative justice Silk road Confucius Republican Feminist Forgiveness 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed Consent

Not applicable.


  1. Ahmadi, A. (2016). The rights of victim in the Iranian Code of Criminal Procedure Act 2013. Review of European Studies, 8(3), 279.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bakker, F. L. (2013). Comparing the golden rule in Hindu and Christian religious texts. Studies in Religion/Sciences Religieuses, 42(1), 38–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Berchman, R. M. (2008). The golden rule in Greco-Roman religion and philosophy. The golden rule: the ethics of reciprocity in world religions, London: Continuum, 40–54Google Scholar
  4. Braithwaite, J. (2002). Restorative justice and responsive regulation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Braithwaite, J. (2015a). Gender, class, resilient power: nepal lessons in transformation. RegNet Research Paper, (2015/92)Google Scholar
  6. Braithwaite, J. (2015b). Rethinking criminology through radical diversity in Asian reconciliation. Asian Journal of Criminology, 10(3), 183–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Braithwaite, J. (2017 forthcoming). The Silk Road of restorative justice II. Restorative Justice: An International JournalGoogle Scholar
  8. Braithwaite, J., & Gohar, A. (2014). Restorative justice, policing and insurgency: learning from Pakistan. Law & Society Review, 48(3), 531–561.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Briant, P. (2002). From Cyrus to Alexander: a history of the Persian Empire. EisenbraunsGoogle Scholar
  10. Chilton, B. (2008). Jesus, the golden rule and its application. The golden rule: the ethics of reciprocity in world religions, London: Continuum, 76–87.Google Scholar
  11. Chongqing Bureau of Statistics.2009–2014 Chongqing Statistical Yearbook. China Statistics PressGoogle Scholar
  12. Chongqing People’s Procuratorate. 2009–2014 The annual working report of the municipal procuratorate of Chongqing Google Scholar
  13. Clarke, D. C. (1991). Dispute resolution in China. J. Chinese L., 5, 245.Google Scholar
  14. Cloke, K. (1987). Politics and values in mediation: the Chinese experience. Mediation Quarterly, 17, 69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Confucius. (1974). The philosophy of Confucius. Trans. James Legge. New York: Crescent BooksGoogle Scholar
  16. Confucius. (2004). Science and spirituality. Trans. Mary Mann. AuthorHouseGoogle Scholar
  17. Csikszentmihalyi, M. A. (2008). The golden rule in Confucianism. The golden rule: the ethics of reciprocity in world religions, 157Google Scholar
  18. Davis, R. H. (2008). A Hindu golden rule, in context. The golden rule: the ethics of reciprocity in world religions, 146, 161–164.Google Scholar
  19. Eisler, R. (1988). The chalice and the bladeGoogle Scholar
  20. Engels, F. (1884). The origin of the family, private property and the stateGoogle Scholar
  21. Farajiha, M & Braithwaite, J. (2017). Forgivability and the deep structure of iranian law. Forthcoming RegNet Working Paper, Australian National UniversityGoogle Scholar
  22. Fisse, B. (1982). Reconstructing corporate criminal law: deterrence, retribution, fault, and sanctions. S. Cal. L. Rev., 56, 1141.Google Scholar
  23. Glassman, E. J. (1991). Function of medication in China: examining the impact of regulations governing the People’s mediation committees. The. UCLA Pac. Basin LJ, 10, 460.Google Scholar
  24. Hallisey, C. (2008). The golden rule in Buddhism [II]. The golden rule: the ethics of reciprocity in world religions. London: Continuum, 129–145Google Scholar
  25. Hertzler, J. O. (1934). On golden rules. International Journal of Ethics, 44(4), 418–436.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Homerin, T. E. (2008). The golden rule in Islam. In J. Neusner (Ed.), The golden rule in world religions (pp. 99–115). New York: Continuum Press.Google Scholar
  27. Hong, D. (2011). Research on the changes of mediation system in contemporary China. Shanghai: Shanghai People’s Press.Google Scholar
  28. Hood, R., & Hoyle, C. (2015). The death penalty: a worldwide perspective. Oxford: OUP Oxford.Google Scholar
  29. Hu, J., & Zeng, L. (2015). Grand mediation and legitimacy enhancement in contemporary China—the Guang’an model. Journal of Contemporary China, 24(91), 43–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Khan, M. Z., & Sharma, K. (1982). Profile of a Nyana panchayat. Delhi: National.Google Scholar
  31. Klostermaier, K. K. (2007). A survey of Hinduism. New York: SuNY Press.Google Scholar
  32. Latha, S., & Thilagaraj, R. (2013). Restorative justice in India. Asian Journal of Criminology, 8(4), 309–319.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Li, E. (2015). Towards the lenient justice? A rise of ‘harmonious’ penality in contemporary China. Asian Journal of Criminology, 10(4), 307–323.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Liu, J. (2016). Asian paradigm theory and access to justice. Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, 32(3), 205–224.Google Scholar
  35. Liu, J. (2017 forthcoming). The new Asian paradigm: a relational approach. In J. Liu, M. Travers & L. Chang (Eds.), Comparative criminology in Asia. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  36. Liu, J., & Palermo, G. B. (2009). Restorative justice and Chinese traditional legal culture in the context of contemporary Chinese criminal justice reform. Asia Pacific Journal of Police & Criminal Justice, 7(1), 49–68.Google Scholar
  37. Liu, J., Zhao, R., Xiong, H., & Gong, J. (2012). Chinese legal traditions: punitiveness versus mercy. Asia Pacific Journal of Police &Criminal Justice, 9(1), 17–33.Google Scholar
  38. Llewellyn, J. J., & Philpott, D. (2014). Restorative justice, reconciliation, and peacebuilding. USA: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Lubman, S. (1967). Mao and mediation: politics and dispute resolution in Communist China. California Law Review, 1284–1359.Google Scholar
  40. Mahmoudi, F. (2006). The informal justice system in Iranian law. In H. J. Albrecht & U. Sieber (Eds.), Conflicts and conflict resolution in middle eastern societies: between tradition and modernity (pp. 411–456). Berlin: Duncker & Humblot.Google Scholar
  41. Miller, W. G. (1964). Hosseinabad: a Persian Village. Middle East Journal, 18(4), 483–498.Google Scholar
  42. Mo, J. S. (2009). Understanding the role of people’s mediation in the age of globalization. Asia Pac. L. Rev., 17, 75.Google Scholar
  43. Montesquieu, C. D. S. (1977). The spirit of laws: a compendium of the first English edition. In D. W. Carrithers (Ed.) Together with an english translation of an essay on the causes affecting minds and characters. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  44. Nagarajan, H. K., Jha, R., & Pradhan, K. C. (2013). The role of bribes in rural governance: The case of India. Available at SSRN 2246525Google Scholar
  45. National Bureau of Statistics PRC. 1982–2015 China Statistical Yearbook. China Statistics PressGoogle Scholar
  46. National People’s Congress (NPC). (2012). Criminal procedure law of the People’s Republic of China (2012)Google Scholar
  47. Olsen, E. J. (2006). Civic republicanism and the properties of democracy: a case study of post-socialist political theory. Lexington BooksGoogle Scholar
  48. Pei, W. (2014). Criminal reconciliation in China: consequentialism in history, legislation, and practice. China-EU Law Journal, 3(3–4), 191–221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Pettit, P. (1997). Republicanism: a theory of freedom and government. Oxford: OUP Oxford.Google Scholar
  50. Scheible, K. (2008). The formulation and significance of the golden rule in Buddhism. The golden rule: the ethics of reciprocity in world religions, London: Continuum, 116–128Google Scholar
  51. Shankar, S. (2010). Can social audits count?. Australian National University, Australia South Asia Research Centre Working Paper, 9Google Scholar
  52. Singer, M. G. (1963). The golden rule. Philosophy, 38(146), 293–314.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Thilagaraj, R. & Liu, J. (Eds.). (2017 forthcoming). Restorative justice in India: traditional practice and contemporary applications. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  54. Times of India 2013 ‘CAG finds holes in enforcing MNREGA’. The Times of India.
  55. Toussaint, L. L., Owen, A. D., & Cheadle, A. (2012). Forgive to live: forgiveness, health, and longevity. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 35(4), 375–386.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Weatherford, J. (2011). The secret history of the Mongol queens: how the daughters of Genghis Khan rescued his empire. Broadway BooksGoogle Scholar
  57. Weitekamp, E. G., & Parmentier, S. (2016). Restorative justice as healing justice: looking back to the future of the concept. Restorative Justice: An International Journal, 4, 141–147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Wu, Y. (2013). People’s mediation in China. The Routledge Handbook of Chinese Criminology, 116Google Scholar
  59. Xenophon. (2002). Translated and annotated by Wayne Ambler. Xenophon: the education of Cyrus. Cornell: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  60. Zhang, H. (2013). Revisiting people’s mediation in China: practice, performance and challenges. Restorative Justice, 1(2), 244–267.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Zhou, Y. (2012). Study report on the development of the people’s mediation system,

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet), ANU College of Asia & the PacificThe Australian National UniversityCanberraAustralia

Personalised recommendations