The International Journal of Restorative Justice


COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges in providing restorative justice services in Scotland: a qualitative study

Keywords criminal justice, COVID-19 pandemic, digital platforms, community involvement, emotional transformation
Authors Mohammad Pizuar Hossain
Author's information

Mohammad Pizuar Hossain
Mohammad Pizuar Hossain, Senior Lecturer in Law, East West University, Bangladesh. Corresponding author: Mohammad Pizuar Hossain at
  • Abstract

      Restorative justice is a process in which victims and offenders voluntarily deal with the crime’s aftermath. It is one of the significant developments in criminal justice in the past decades. Many scholars and practitioners promote it worldwide in recent years as not simply an alternative but a complementary mechanism to the conventional criminal justice system. However, from the beginning of 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, lockdowns and public health measures were imposed worldwide. As a result, the restorative justice service providers of various countries have faced new challenges in implementing this justice mechanism. This article explores the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has posed to the restorative justice professionals (i.e. managers and practitioners) in Scotland. It uses semi-structured interviews to collect data and thematic analysis to analyse the data. This article reveals that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the professionals had to provide restorative justice services in Scotland entirely through digital platforms and, therefore, they faced challenges in transforming emotion in the restorative justice processes, ensuring community participation and guaranteeing privacy and safety to the parties. It also indicates the fact that hybrid restorative justice services in Scotland seem to be a practical alternative for certain parties at times.

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