Republican theory has primarily been forged by normative work within the discipline of political philosophy and by the historiography of Western governance from Roman times. This contribution seeks to inform the republican tradition with insights from empirical research on criminal justice and restorative justice, primarily from non-Western governance experiments. This empirical experience is used to decentre executive and parliamentary governance as the key sites of democracy constitution. The judicial and educational branches are conceived as the most critical for providing citizens with opportunities to learn to be democratic. This learning is conceived as learning in how to craft innovative new hybridities between deliberative democracy and contestatory democracy. Such innovation is conceived as needed because of innovation with new technologies of domination that threaten republican democracy.