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Title: Restorative Justice and Restorative Approaches: The UN and UNESCO


1
  • Restorative Justice and Restorative Approaches
    The UN and UNESCO
  • Presented by
  • Lucio Sia

2
  • During the 10th United Nations Congress on the
    Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of
    Offenders, the Vienna Declaration on Crime and
    Justice Meeting the Challenges of the
    Twenty-first Century (2000) advocated the
    development of restorative justice policies,
    procedures and programmes that are respectful of
    the rights, needs and interests of victims,
    offenders, communities and all of the parties.

3
  • In August 2002, the UN Economic and Social
    Council adopted a resolution calling upon Member
    States implementing restorative justice
    programmes to draw on a set of Basic Principles
    on the Use of Restorative Justice Progrmmes in
    Criminal Matters.
  • In 2005, the declaration of the Eleventh UN
    Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the
    Treatment of Offenders (2005) urged Member
    States, for very practical reasons, to recognize
    the importance of further developing restorative
    justice policies, procedures and programmes that
    include alternatives to prosecution.

4
  • UNESCOs Asia Pacific Network for International
    Education and Values Education (APNIEVE) has been
    active in RJ processes in the classroom,
    particularly in Australian Schools, through the
    Victorian Association for Restorative Justice and
    the Association of School Councils in Victoria.
  • The UNESCO Office in Brasilia promotes the use of
    RJ processes for youth in Brazil.
  • The UNESCO Chair and Institute of Comparative
    Human Rights in the University of Connecticut, in
    its human rights education, promotes the
    understanding of the processes and relevance of
    restorative justice.
  • UNESCO's Associated Schools Project Network
    (ASPnet) supports and encourages innovative
    programmes such as restorative practice projects
    in different schools worldwide.

5
  • The UN Handbook on Restorative Justice
    Programmes1
  • mentions some features of RJ programmes
  • A flexible and variable approach which can be
    adapted to the circumstances, legal tradition,
    principles and underlying philosophies of
    established national criminal justice systems
  • A response to crime which is particularly
    suitable for situations where juvenile offenders
    are involved and in which an important objective
    of the intervention is to teach the offenders
    some new values and skills
  • A response that recognizes the role of the
    community as a prime site of preventing and
    responding to crime and social disorder.
  • 1 Handbook on Restorative Justice Programmes
    Criminal Justice Handbook Series, UN, New York,
    2006

6
  • The Handbook also delineates underlying
    assumptions of
  • restorative justice programmes
  • That the response to crime should repair as much
    as possible the harm suffered by the victim
  • That offenders should be brought to understand
    that their behavior is not acceptable and that it
    had some real consequences for the victim and
    community
  • That offenders can and should accept
    responsibility for their action
  • That victims should have an opportunity to
    express their needs and to participate in
    determining the best way for the offender to make
    reparation
  • That the community has a responsibility to
    contribute to this process.

7
Many terms to describe RJ movement
  • Communitarian justice
  • Making amends
  • Positive justice
  • Relational justice
  • Reparative justice
  • Restorative justice

8
Key features of RJ
  • Focuses not only on the offender and the offence
  • Also focuses on
  • Peacemaking
  • Dispute resolution
  • Rebuilding relationships
  • Supporting the victim, the offender and interests
    of community
  • Helpful for
  • Identifying causes of crime
  • Developing crime prevention strategies

9
Conceptions of RJ
  • Encounter
  • Reparative
  • Transformative

10
Questions raised about RJ
  • Is there a role for punishment in restorative
    justice?
  • Are victim support services and offender
    reintegration programmes restorative justice?
  • What happens if a victim or offender is not
    willing or able to participate in a restorative
    process?
  • Can there be restorative justice in an unjust
    world?

11
Restorative Approaches and Restorative Justice
Across Cultures
  • Australia and Canada indigenous informal
    participation in sentencing procedures. Many of
    them are informal. Sentencing circles (Canada)
  • Eastern Nigeria and many parts of West Africa
    the age grade systems encourage reconciliation
    within communities through peer group
    interventions.
  • In Uganda, the local council courts have the
    power to grant remedies such as compensation,
    restitution, reconciliation or apology, as well
    as more coercive measures.
  • In the Philippines, the Barangay justice system
    consists of a locally elected Barangay captain
    and a peacekeeping committee hearing cases
    involving conflicts between residents. There is a
    mediation session that is facilitated by the
    captain or another member of the committee.
    Agreements reached through this process are
    legally binding and are recognized by the courts.

12
  • In the Czech Republic, the Probation and
    Mediation Service is involved in pre-trial and
    court proceedings in an attempt to mediate
    effective and pro-social resolutions to
    crime-related conflicts
  • New Zealand A Community and family group
    conferencing. This model is now also widely used
    in modified form as a police initiated diversion
    approach in South Australia, South Africa,
    Ireland, Lesotho, as well as in U.S. cities in
    Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Montana.
  • Zwelethemba (South Africa). Peacemaking
    committees

13
Restorative practices in schools
  • Restorative approaches include peer mediation,
    circles
  • (peacemaking circles) and community conferencing.
  • In Canada, the Society for Safe and Caring
    Schools and Communities (SSCSC) has special
    programmes and projects.
  • In Brazil, there are a number of youth-centered
    mediation and conferencing projects throughout
    that incorporate the philosophy and principles of
    restorative justice. The UNESCO office in
    Brasilia is collaborating actively on restorative
    justice programmes in the country, for instance,
    the Youth Justice System in Porto Alegre
  • In England and Wales, Youth Offenders Panels
    operate.

14
Building on customary justice practices
  • In the Democratic Republic of Congo, due to the
    absence of courts, most people consult their
    chiefs and elders for settlements of disputes
    including serious criminal matters.
  • In Bangladesh, a traditional dispute resolution
    mechanism at the village level (salish) involving
    village headmen or elders, actively engage the
    offender and the victim in settling the dispute,
    with the goal of reaching a mutually agreed
    solution.
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