For restorative justice, the devil is in the details
....The ordinance makes provision for existing agencies or non-profits to run the restorative justice component on a case-by-case referral basis, with instructions that the contracted program “may seek to involve the victim as well as the offender” in the restorative justice process. In addition the contracted program both makes the decision as to what will it take to bring restoration as well as to ultimately sign off on whether or not restoration was done.
Since that is one of the basic tenets or restorative justice—to bring victim and offender together to restore the whole—it would seem that the programs would almost always bring in the victims, as well as let the victims take the lead in deciding the restorative action.
Justice? What about understanding?
Scrolling through RSS feeds I saw a link for, “After driving on sidewalk to pass school bus, woman must wear ‘idiot’ sign.” I admit clicking the link to see what it was about. The first line quotes someone as declaring, “Justice has been served!” before going into how a woman had driven on a sidewalk to get around a parked school bus with children on it. The penalty was to stand near the scene of the incident wearing a sign that says, “Only an idiot would drive on the sidewalk to avoid the school bus.” She will also pay a $250 fine.
First restorative justice Human Rights Board of Inquiry
The Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission will be holding its first restorative board of inquiry Monday, Sept. 17.
The commission has significantly restructured its investigation and adjudicative processes over the past year. This includes approaching the resolution of human rights disputes from a restorative justice perspective.
Restorative justice is the law
by Dan Van Ness
Heartspeak Productions is a remarkable Canadian group that describes itself as "on a continual quest to learn about & share the principles and best practices of restorative justice." It does this by creating excellent videos exploring dimensions of restoration. Fraser Community Justice Initiatives Association is a community NGO also in Canada that for 25 years has developed programs and training that help people in conflict find good resolutions.
Activists berate Traditional Courts Bill in South Africa
The controversial Traditional Courts Bill, which its critics say will take the country back to the era of bantustans, is set to come under scrutiny at a series of public hearings in KwaZulu-Natal.
The sponsor of the bill, the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, argues that the legislation seeks to affirm the recognition of traditional justice and its values based on restorative justice and reconciliation.
The Jirga in modern day Afghanistan
from the article by Ali Gohar in OPen Democracy:
....The working principals of the Jirga are community based and fact finding; it acts like a modern jury system. The Jirga intervenes to halt violence, identify the issues in order to resolve them through mediation or arbitration, and work towards reconciliation and rehabilitation. The Jirga system could also be described in terms of the three aspects of peacekeeping, peacemaking, and peacebuilding, through the use of Tega (ceasefire), Nagha (ban on arms show), Community Policing (Arbakai) and volunteer force (Lakhkar).
Afghan women trapped in tribal court system
....Sakina’s imprisonment stems from her attempts to evade a uniquely medieval form of restitution practiced in tribal courts and known as ba’ad. It is Afghanistan’s version of restorative justice in which women and girls are bartered from one family to another as a way to settle a dispute.
Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission adopts a restorative justice approach to human rights disputes
The Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission has changed its procedure for resolving human rights disputes. As of January 1, 2012, the NS HRC has adopted a restorative justice approach that emphasizes the need to reconcile the relationship between complainants and respondents,while reducing the time it takes to resolve a dispute (which the commission notes could have taken up to two years before the recent amendments).
Review: Child victims and restorative justice: A needs-rights model
....Combining the right to participate from the Convention on the Rights of the Child with an empirical analysis of a child's need to regain control, participation emerges as a critically important need and right for at least three reasons. First, for immediate instrumental reasons, participation is both an immediate coping mechanism and is expected to improve criminal justice outcomes. Second, for longer term developmental reasons, meaningful participation in experiential learning opportunities is a developmental step toward empowering young adults to master the problem solving skills necessary to make democracy both possible and desirable.
Problems with legal aid
What is the answer?
Encourage more appropriate charges instead of over prosecution-always a problem. Then, if the appropriate charges are laid, encourage more guilty pleas by use of greater allowances for preparation for sentencing, more use of restorative justice and more resources for expert reports such as drug and alcohol abuse, psychologists, and better probation reports.