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The New Zealand experience of restorative justice legislation.

McElrea, F W M
June 4, 2015

Source: (2005) Paper presented at 11th Annual Restorative Justice Conference, Fresno Pacific University, California, 23-24 September, and at 5th Annual Conference of the Association for Conflict Resolution, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 30 September. Downloaded 21 October 2005.

A judge in the Auckland District Court, New Zealand, Fred McElrea writes on the basis of his professional experience with restorative justice legislation. New Zealand has two distinct types of restorative justice legislation, neither of which is in fact primarily about restorative justice, he states. The first type stemmed from the Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act 1989. This introduced the family group conference and made it central to youth justice in New Zealand. The second type grew out of the Sentencing Act 2002, Parole Act 2002, and Victims’ Rights Act 2002. These apply to adult offending, and they acknowledge and foster restorative justice initiatives that have been occurring voluntarily (apart from legislation) since 1994. In the framework of these acts, McElrea describes youth justice and adult justice in New Zealand, identifies five key differences between these two types of legislation and approaches, and speculates about possible directions for restorative justice in New Zealand.


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