This ideal leaves it open as to (a) when restorative justice is done, (b) what kind of restorative justice process is used, (c) whether those involved decide to participate, or (d) what needs to happen in addition to restorative justice.

The application of restorative justice is, in this sense, highly flexible. For this reason, this Guidance is designed so that it should, for the most part, apply in almost any context, including families, schools, anti-social behaviour, youth justice, residential schools and secure care, criminal justice, prisons, workplaces, and so on.


The Guidance is prefaced by explaining the 'technical' terms that will be used in the document. These definitions are widely accepted by practitioners and service-providers across Scotland (Use of Terms).

The first section of the Guidance begins by describing how practitioners can demonstrate that they have the general knowledge and skills needed to facilitate a restorative justice process effectively (Section 1. A-B)

It then presents the more specific knowledge and skills needed at each stage of a restorative justice process, including assessment, preparation, facilitating communication (if any), monitoring and follow-up (Section 1. C-D).

The second section sets out what is required to facilitate more serious or complex cases: for example, where someone is particularly vulnerable, at risk of causing further harm, or where the case involved severe violence. (Section 2.).

In the final section, the Guidance describes the knowledge and skills required to case supervise and line manage restorative justice processes effectively. (Section 3.)

Download a PDF of the complete Guidance.