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Why rj…?

Kershen, Lawrence
June 4, 2015

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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