The changes to the Sentencing Act mean that all cases will be referred to a restorative justice provider in situations where there is a victim, the offender pleads guilty, there is a service that is able to be accessed and there has been no previous restorative justice process held in relation to that offending. The restorative justice provider determines whether a restorative justice process is suitable in the circumstances, having regard to the wishes of the victim.
Mike Hinton says that the changes emphasise the importance of victims in the process and giving them a greater say on whether they wish to participate in a restorative justice process or not.
Although the consent of victims and offenders has always been required, the previous process meant that some victims have not been provided with the opportunity to participate in a restorative justice process. These changes address this gap and provide opportunity for all victims to participate….
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