In reviving the idea of an informal approach to conflict resolution, the Restorative Justice movement attempts to break out of the freedom punitive thinking which shapes modern criminal justice. Its proponents claim that its guiding ideals - personalism, participation, and reintegration -deliver a fairer, more effective, and more humane justice than does the court system. However, a simplistic tendency both to extol the virtues of restorative justice and to denigrate all formal approaches risks blinding enthusiasts to the dangers inherent in unchecked participant power , as well asto the protection which State institutions and professionals can provide to individuals and communities.The procedural safeguard of institutional accountability helps reduce these dangers. Examining the experiences of 25 programmes in six countries, Accountability in Restorative Justice uncovers a number of neglected, overlapping, and incomplete types of accountability, including the informal typebuilt into deliberations between victims and offenders and their supporters. This deliberative accountability can provide a rigorous check for regulating decision-making, holding state agencies accountable, and monitoring the completion of agreements reached between participants.This book also considers the role played by formal types of accountability, such as external review. It suggests a new approach, in which judges become more involved in monitoring the quality of deliberation in restorative justice conferences than with enforcing traditional sentencing principles.