Lovingkindness in action.
Unitive justice is a term coined by Sylvia Clute in the 1980s to give a name to what might also be called “justice as Love,” but the term is gaining wider use. For over 30 years Sylvia has been developing and refining a theory that describes the punitive model of justice that permeates western culture and a path to a model of justice that has no punitive elements–based on the moral principle of lovingkindness and do no harm. Unitive Justice is being taught by comparing 14 structures found in a punitive system to 14 structures found in a unitive system—the Arcs to Unity.
The content on this website has been written by Sylvia Clute. We are immersed in language that applies to punitive justice, a system that is hierarchical, judgmental, punitive, confrontational, self-serving, and answers harm with more harm. Unitive justice is none of those things. But the challenge is to describe Unitive Justice linearly, using words as symbols, for justice is holographic, interwoven, each part being an integral part of the whole.
In order to communicate easily and effectively about the two distinct models of justice, we must create language that distinguishes Unitive Justice from the established system of retribution and revenge. That is an on-going process, to which many are contributing. The 14 Arcs to Unity provide a framework for this work.
The Alliance for Unitive Justice (www.a4uj.org) (AUJ) is a non-profit headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, dedicated to teaching about Unitive Justice, providing training in how to implement this model of justice, and offering Unitive Justice programs. Sylvia Clute is presently the President and Executive Director of AUJ.
While Unitive Justice is best understood when it is experienced, the goal of this website is to describe the uniqueness and the power of Unitive Justice. A more detailed version of Unitive Justice will be in Sylvia’s new book, Unitive Justice: Bending the Arc of Justice Toward Love that will be available soon.