Source: (2002) Restorative Justice Week 2002 Resource Kit. Ottawa, Ontario: Restorative Justice and Dispute Resolution Branch, Correctional Services Canada.

What are the advantages of using a Circle approach or process to address criminal offending? How does a Circle process differ from a traditional courtroom? These are questions illuminated by this restorative justice resource paper by Bria Huculak, a judge of the Provincial Court of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. In the paper Judge Huculak describes the nature, structure, and purposes of peacemaking circles. She points out how they are different from traditional court proceedings. Additionally, she notes that circles are being used for a range of offenses and in a variety of settings. To illustrate the use of a circle approach, she sketches the context for and outcomes of a peacemaking circle employed to address an actual robbery case in which violence was threatened.