Source: (2003) Paper presented at Building a Global Alliance for Restorative Practices and Family Empowerment, Fourth International Conference on Conferencing, Circles and other Restorative Practices, set for 28-30 August, 2003. Downloaded 11 September 2003.Ted Wachtel is president of the International Institute for Restorative Practices, headquartered in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. In opening remarks to participants in this conference, Wachtel begins by connecting restorative justice and the application of the term ârestorativeâ? to other social developments. The connection or common denominator is a focus on involving individuals, families, and friends in making critical decisions that affect their lives. This focus or emphasis is distinct from a primary or even sole reliance on professional experts and government authorities for such decision-making. It is on this basis that he develops, in his opening address, the application of a restorative approach in a number of spheres of life.