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House of Lords debate on restorative justice

Apr 13, 2012

from Why Me?

On 20th March 2012 and in the House of Lords, the Government rejected the third and probably final attempt “To add restorative justice to the statutory purposes of sentencing” within the Legal Aid and Sentencing of Offenders Bill.

Lord Woolf argued eloquently alongside Lords Ramsbottom (former Chief Inspector of Prisons), Beecham and Dholakia, for this important change, but agreed to withdraw the amendment in the face of defeat and with the promise of a meeting with Baroness Northover for the Government.

These amendments take a three-pronged approach to adding restorative justice to the current legislation.

The first would make restorative justice a statutory purpose of sentencing alongside the existing purposes of punishment, reduction of crime, rehabilitation, protection of the public and making reparation to offenders, as set out in the Criminal Justice Act 2003.

The second would create a new restorative justice requirement for a community order or suspended sentence order,

While the third would add the words “restorative justice” to the existing activity requirement.

Although not successful this time, the issue has been raised and the ground laid for future legislative change. The debate can be found in Hansard, beginning at Column 815.

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Michael Kearns
Michael Kearns says:
May 04, 2012 01:22 PM

I am working with a man who has a 25 year history of serious offending who is making a remarkable journey to recover from all that is attached to this. His desire to be reintegrated to community is voluntary and having spent hours discussing this I will share this with him to seek his views about how it might affect his journey if required to undertake some parts of his sentence by law. I am sure it will be an interesting discussion.

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