Source: (2006) Psychiatry, Psychology and Law. 13(2):203. 219.

Psychological research indicates that trust in the independent third party affects the way in which disputants rate the fairness of legal procedures. This article addresses procedural variation in restorative justice practices, in the context of psychological research on procedural and distributive fairness. In particular, we describe differences in the ways in which high and low power-distance participants determine fairness in conferencing procedures. This article outlines the way in which convenor variation in conferencing programs may affect participants’ perceptions of bias in these conference procedures, and the moderating effect of power-distance on the consequences of this perceived bias. The authors argue that a sensitive analysis of the ability of restorative justice procedures to deliver effective justice requires consideration of individual difference factors in conjunction with situational factors. (authors’ abstract).