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.