The International Journal of Restorative Justice

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Issue 1, 2023 Expand all abstracts

Joan Pennell
Joan Pennell is Professor Emerita of Social Work at the Center for Family and Community Engagement, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, USA. Corresponding author: Joan Pennell at jpennell@ncsu.edu.

Access_open Meetings between victims and offenders suffering from a mental disorder in forensic mental health facilities: a qualitative exploration of their subjective experiences

Keywords restorative justice, forensic mental health, victimology, perception, victim-offender meetings
Authors Mariëtte van Denderen and Michiel van der Wolf
AbstractAuthor's information

    Most studies about victim-offender meetings have been performed within prison populations, with little reference to offenders diagnosed with mental disorders. In establishing the effects of such meetings, these studies often use quantitative measures. Little is known about meetings between victims and offenders with mental disorders and about the more qualitative subjective experiences of the participants regarding these meetings. In this interview study, we inquired into the subjective experiences of sixteen participants in victim-offender meetings, six of whom are victims and ten offenders of severe crimes, currently residing in forensic mental health facilities. Topics of the interviews included benefits of the meeting and perceptions of each other prior to and after the meeting. Important benefits that participants experienced from meeting each other were reconnecting with family, processing the offence and contributing to each other’s well-being. Such benefits are comparable to those mentioned in studies on meetings with offenders without a mental disorder, challenging the practice that mentally disordered offenders are often excluded from such meetings. Most victims experienced a positive change in perception of the offender owing to the meeting. They perceived the offender as a human being and associated him less exclusively with his offence. Implications for clinical practice are addressed.

Mariëtte van Denderen
M.Y. van Denderen is criminologist and senior researcher at the Forensic Psychiatric Centre Dr. S. van Mesdag, Groningen, the Netherlands.

Michiel van der Wolf
M.J.F. van der Wolf is Professor of Forensic Psychiatry at Leiden University and Associate Professor of Criminal Law at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. Corresponding author: M.J.F. van der Wolf at m.j.f.van.der.wolf@rug.nl. Funding: This work was supported by an international, non-governmental, organisation that prefers to stay anonymous (more information is available on request). Acknowledgements: We want to thank the victims, bereaved individuals and offenders who shared their experiences about the meeting. We would also like to thank the social workers of the FPC Dr. S. van Mesdag and FPC the Oostvaardersclinic, among which H. van Splunter and Perspectief Herstelbemiddeling for their cooperation. We thank F. Fierstra, L. Gunnink, E. de Jong and F. Drijfhout for transcribing the interviews. Disclosure statement: No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors.

Restorative justice training for judges and public prosecutors in the European Union: what is on offer and where are the gaps?

Keywords restorative justice, judicial training, judges, public prosecutors
Authors Ana Catarina Pereira, Britt De Craen and Ivo Aertsen
AbstractAuthor's information

    Judges and public prosecutors across Europe continue to be the main source of referral of cases to restorative justice programmes organised in the context of the criminal justice system. As a result, the training of these two groups of legal professionals regarding what restorative justice is and what it can offer to victims, offenders and the community has for many years been identified as a priority for the development of restorative justice in the European Union (EU). However, little information is available about what actually exists in terms of judicial training on restorative justice within the national judicial training institutions responsible for the initial and/or continuous training of judges and/or public prosecutors. Therefore, we developed an online survey on judicial training on restorative justice and invited 38 judicial training institutions operating in the (then) 28 EU Member States to participate in our study. We were able to make relevant observations regarding the reasons for the non-existence of restorative justice training in most of the judicial training institutions studied and identify important elements of the architecture of the restorative justice training offered by the judicial training institution of Czech Republic.

Ana Catarina Pereira
Ana Pereira is a PhD researcher in Criminology at the Leuven Institute of Criminology at KU Leuven, Belgium. She received a PhD grant from the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, FCT).

Britt De Craen
Britt De Craen is a master’s student in Criminology at the Leuven Institute of Criminology at KU Leuven, Belgium.

Ivo Aertsen
Ivo Aertsen is Professor Emeritus of the Leuven Institute of Criminology at KU Leuven, Belgium. Corresponding author: Ana Pereira, anacatarina.alvespereira@kuleuven.be.

Restitution and return of cultural property between negotiation and restorative justice: time to bridge the river

Keywords looted cultural objects, return restitution and repatriation, alternative dispute resolution, restorative justice, cultural heritage law
Authors Arianna Visconti
AbstractAuthor's information

    There is a need for dialogue between two perspectives – the negotiated settlement of legal disputes and the use of restorative justice programmes in post-conflict situations – with respect to the recovery of cultural objects displaced in times of war and/or colonial occupation. Although the application of such perspectives led to the recovery of disputed cultural objects, this has mostly been achieved unwittingly. However, the resolution of restitution claims would benefit from a conscious exchange between experts and practitioners of the two approaches. We will summarise cultural property displacement in its practical complexities, briefly discussing problems related to both ‘historical’ depredations and the current trafficking in cultural objects, with a focus on the current trend towards increased use of criminal law. However, this is a tool that is mostly ineffective in providing a solution for the most heartfelt questions arising from breaking an object’s links to its cultural roots. After carrying out an overview of international conventions currently addressing these issues, discussing why these legal instruments oft cannot actually heal the wounds caused by depredations of cultural property, we will illustrate the need for an approach more focused on the ‘human’ meaning of questions of restitution of objects that are so much more than ‘things’.

Arianna Visconti
Arianna Visconti is Associate Professor of Criminal Law and Law & Arts, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan, Italy. Corresponding author: Arianna Visconti at arianna.visconti@unicatt.it.

The return of cultural objects displaced during colonialism. What role for restorative justice, transitional justice and alternative dispute resolution?

Keywords alternative dispute resolution means, colonialism, restitution and return, Restorative Justice, transitional justice
Authors Alessandro Chechi
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article focuses on the question of the return of the cultural objects displaced during the colonial era (hereinafter ‘colonial objects’) and of the dispute resolution means that may be used to achieve it. It starts by portraying the special significance of colonial objects for nations and communities. Next, it looks at restitution, as a facet of both restorative justice and transitional justice and as the most satisfactory form of reparation. It then examines the obstacles that claimants face when trying to recover colonial objects. Finally, the article argues that restitution claims should be resolved through procedures alternative to litigation, the so-called alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms, because these mechanisms make it possible to achieve the objectives typically pursued through restorative justice and transitional justice processes, namely dialogue, truth, reparation and reconciliation.

Alessandro Chechi
Alessandro Chechi is a Senior Lecturer, University of Geneva and Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, Switzerland. Corresponding author: Alessandro Chechi at alessandro.chechi@unige.ch.
Notes from the field

Building a restorative city: what aims and processes?

Authors Cristina Vasilescu
Author's information

Cristina Vasilescu
Cristina Vasilescu is a freelance policy analyst and evaluator, and a consultant on project design, monitoring and evaluation for Associazione Comunità il Gabbiano, Italy and current chair of the Working Group on Restorative Cities of the European Forum for Restorative Justice. Corresponding author: Cristina Vasilescu at cristinel.m.v@gmail.com.
Notes from the field

Growing a restorative community in Canberra, Australia

Authors Janet Hope and Holly Northam
Author's information

Janet Hope
Janet Hope is Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Canberra, Canberra, Australia and a member of the Canberra Restorative Community.

Holly Northam
Holly Northam is Associate Professor of Nursing at the University of Canberra and Convenor of the Canberra Restorative Community, Australia. Corresponding author: Janet Hope at janet.hope@canberra.edu.au. Canberra Restorative Community: www.canberrarestorativecommunity.space.

Jennifer Llewellyn
Jennifer Llewellyn is the Director of the Restorative Research, Innovation and Education Lab and Chair in Restorative Justice at the Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada. She is one of the founding convenors of the Restorative International Learning Community (ILC). Corresponding author: Jennifer Llewellyn at Jennifer.Llewellyn@dal.ca.
Conversations on restorative justice

A talk with Dennis S. W. Wong

Authors Albert Dzur
Author's information

Albert Dzur
Albert Dzur is Distinguished Research Professor, Departments of Political Science and Philosophy, Bowling Green State University, USA. Corresponding author: Albert Dzur at awdzur@bgsu.edu.

Meredith Rossner
Meredith Rossner is a Professor of Criminology and Deputy Director at the Centre for Social Research & Methods at the Australian National University, Canberra, Australia. Corresponding author: Meredith Rossner at meredith.rossner@anu.edu.au.

Ian D. Marder
Ian D. Marder (PhD) is Assistant Professor in Criminology at the Maynooth University School of Law and Criminology, Ireland.

Katharina Kurz
Katharina Kurz is a Research Assistant at Maynooth University School of Law and Criminology, Ireland. Corresponding author: Ian Marder at ian.marder@mu.ie.

Michael G. DeAntonio
Michael G. DeAntonio is the Executive Director at Buxmont Academy, USA, and a Lecturer at the International Institute for Restorative Practices. Corresponding author: Michael G. DeAntonio at mdeantonio@csfbuxmont.org.

MaryJean Glick
MaryJean Glick is a Master student at IIRP and has been an appellate public defender in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, USA for over 25 years. Corresponding author: MaryJean Glick at maryjeanglick28@gmail.com.