Source: (2006) Papers presented at the Fourth Conference of the European Forum for Restorative Justice, “Restorative justice: An agenda for Europe”, Barcelona, Spain, 15-17 June 2006.

The Belfast Agreement 1998 set out new directions for government in Northern Ireland including criminal justice. It formed the Criminal Justice Review to review the whole criminal justice system and to produce a range of recommendations. Amongst many other matters it recommended that restorative justice should be at the core of the Northern Irish youth justice system. Subsequently the Justice [NI] Act 2002 provided legislation for the establishment of the Youth Justice Agency and the Youth Conference Service to facilitate youth conferences according to restorative justice principles. A restorative youth conference is available for any offence except an offence for which if the young person was an adult would require a period of life imprisonment.(excerpt)