Empirical evidence from different countries, through questionnaires and case studies, will reveal more detailed information on this issue. Topics that will be addressed include legal authorities’ attitudes towards restorative justice, awareness, national legislation on restorative justice, costs, exclusion criteria preventing access, and how best to make the offer to parties. Best practices are key to further developing greater accessibility and will also be given attention throughout the project. 

Accessibility and initiation are two of the most important topics for the practical use of restorative justice. If you are asked in the upcoming months to contribute your expertise to these issues, please participate in order to make restorative justice reach its potential. If you are interested in more information, please contact Malini Laxminarayan at Malini@euforumrj.org.

Desistance and Restorative Justice

The project on ‘Desistance and Restorative Justice’ started in January 2013. The general aim of this project is to gain insight in the mechanisms within restorative justice practices that can contribute to desistance from crime and thus reduce victimisation. Starting from the factors identified in the desistance literature in general, this study develops a conceptual framework for analysing restorative justice and desistance, which will then be empirically tested in three European countries.

In this project the EFRJ collaborates with three European research institutions: KU Leuven, Queen’s University (Belfast) and IRKS (Vienna). In addition, three organisations from practice will collaborate with the respective research institutes in the empirical part of the research (Neustart in Austria, Youth Justice Agency in GB and Médiante in Belgium). The research will result in a final report and a good practice guide. 

A special effort will be made towards the dissemination of the project results through the network of the partner organisations, the organisation of three regional workshops (Belfast, Leuven, Vienna) and an international conference (Belfast). If you would like more information on the project, please contact Katrien Lauwaert at Katrien@euforumrj.org.

Developing judicial training for restorative justice: Towards a European approach

This project started in January 2013 and the 1st work stream it is now underway. The main goal of the project is to develop good practices in the form of judicial training for judges and public prosecutors and to build a European network amongst legal professionals in the field of restorative justice. 

It has to be emphasised that it is the first time such a project has been undertaken at the European level with the aim of measuring the use of restorative justice in criminal matters from the perspective of judges and public prosecutors. You are encouraged to offer your input into this project. For further information or if you have a query, please contact Tzeni Varfi at tzeni@euforumrj.org.