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Discussion Paper: Draft Principles of Best Practice for Restorative Justice Processes in the Criminal Court

King, Andrea
June 4, 2015

Source: (2003) Wellington, New Zealand: New Zealand Ministry of Justice.

New Zealand’s program of restorative justice is at a significant stage of development. As such, this publication offers the principles of best practice in the field in an attempt to help frame policy for restorative justice processes within the criminal justice system. Not only do these principles of best practice provide guidelines about the use of restorative justice, they also protect the flexibility of the restorative justice process. The principles are drafted to be applied to a variety of restorative justice models operating throughout New Zealand. They are targeted for use in the criminal court for pre-sentence purposes, and do not apply to post-sentencing options. The discussion paper provides a general understanding of what restorative justice means and then, beginning in part 2, drafts the principles of best practices. These principles include elements related to the referral of cases, participants, providers and facilities, conferences, confidentiality and privacy, and cultural issues, to name a few. Critical issues are explored in part 3 and include discussions of type of offenses, proportionality, family violence, sexual violence, and children and young people. Finally, part 4 discusses how to apply these principles to practice within the criminal justice system. Relevant questions to consider are explored. The glossary defines terms and the notes section contains a questionnaire designed to facilitate discussion about the principles of best practice. Abstract courtesy of National Criminal Justice Reference Service,


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