Distinguished Professor John Braithwaite, has won the 2012 Future Justice Award.
The Future Justice Prize is awarded to Australian individuals or organisations for leadership and initiative in the advancement of future justice, which is concerned with what those living today leave behind, and is awarded for research, publications, projects or programs in areas such as Human Rights, Indigenous, Health, Environment, Population & Intergenerational Debt. In nominating Professor Braithwaite, fellow RegNet Professor and ARC Laureate Fellow Hilary Charlesworth, highlighted the immense contribution he has made to justice issues.
“John Braithwaite’s contributions to future justice through social science research have been extraordinary in both their breadth and originality. They have directly shaped the practice of criminal justice, business regulation and international peacemaking….He has also worked tirelessly on justice issues in the region, including peace settlement and negotiations”, she said.
Professor Braithwaite, who is the Chief Investigator of the Peacebuilding Compared project, has been active in social movement politics for over 40 years in Australia and internationally. In the past he has worked on a variety of areas of business regulation and on the crime problem. His best known work is on the ideas of responsive regulation and restorative justice. His most recent book with Hilary Charlesworth and Aderito Soares is: Networked Governance of Freedom and Tyranny: Peace in Timor-Leste (ANU E Press, 2012).
In the field of restorative justice, he is recognised internationally as the leading academic scholar of restorative justice. He made a paradigm-shifting theoretical addition to criminology with his 1989 book, Crime, Shame and Reintegration, now regarded as a major work of the discipline over the last 50 years. He was instrumental in launching a series of rigorous tests of his theory using randomized controlled trials to compare restorative justice with conventional justice. Professor Charlesworth also acknowledged Professor Braithwaite’s multi-discipline contribution in her offical nomination.
“Restorative justice is not a theory from the discipline of law, yet it has had an impact on the appellate courts in New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, the United States and the United Kingdom. It is not a theory from international relations, but it has now been established as a significant influence on the United Nations and regional thinking about peacebuilding. It is not a theory from education or social work, yet it has changed educational and social work practice in developed economies”, she said.
The many awards he has received also represents Professor Braithwaite’s impact on criminology and sociology research. In Australia he was the first scholar from the social sciences or humanities to be made an Australian Research Council Federation Fellow (2001), the highest Australian level of recognition of excellence in scholarship. His contributions to social science research is also evidenced by prizes across a number of fields such as the Kalven Prize for Lifetime Research Contributions from the Law and Society Association (he was the first non-American to win this prize), the 2004 Grawemeyer Award for Ideas for Improving World Order, the 2005 Prix Emile Durkheim of the International Society of Criminology, for lifetime contributions to criminology and the Stockholm Prize for Criminology (2006). In 2008, Professor Braithwaite was awarded an honorary doctorate at the University of Leuven.
An article about Professor Braithwaite's award also appeared in the College of Asia and the Pacific website.