Source: (2012) Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission.

Relationships in conflict sometimes result in allegations of discrimination, triggering a complaint under the Nova Scotia Human Right Act. 1 This complaint creates an opportunity to address individual conflicts and to examine a) the larger societal influences on the conflict and b) how these influences impact the systems we set up to relate to each other. The restorative board of inquiry model, outlined here, seeks to foster respectful, equal, 2 and responsible relationships as it addresses complaints. These objectives are met by parties involved being empowered to work collaboratively. Some of the benefits of the restorative approach are: emotional closure, the process creates reduced conflict between the parties thereby lessening harms throughout the process of resolving the complaint, a better opportunity to have the other party meaningfully understand one’s harm, a greater possibility of the other party meaningfully taking responsibility for the harm, as appropriate. A restorative board of inquiry necessarily considers the public interest by its inclusion of community members in participation circles and the inquiry. (excerpt)

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