Source: (2013) Probation Junior. 4(2):73-78.

The use of mediation and Restorative Justice is developing across the world. Experience of these complementary dispute resolution methods has been built for longer in some cultures and jurisdictions than in others. This article aims to identify some of the benefits and pitfalls inherent in the adoption of these processes, and Restorative Justice in particular. The article is a personal and subjective account of the author’s experience in this field over the past 15 or so years, both as mediator and as a Board member of the Restorative Justice Council. It examines some of the key learnings to be derived from this experience that might be relevant to those interested in developing the field. The main themes that emerge are the need for an over-arching body that will promote the RJ agenda nationally, the importance of effective governance in such an organisation, the need for a communications strategy that will inform and inspire all levels of the community, and the essential role that standards play in promoting effective RJ and its acceptance by the public. It has been written in the hope not only that it will encourage and guide others who see the potential of RJ but may be at an early stage of its implementation, and also to help them to avoid some of the wrong turnings that can be taken in any process of trial and error, that is learning by experience. (Author's abstract)

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