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Article

Exploring the growth and development of restorative justice in Bangladesh

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue 2 2021
Keywords restorative justice, Bangladesh, salish, village courts, INGOs
Authors Muhammad Asadullah and Brenda Morrison
AbstractAuthor's information

    Although restorative justice is a new concept in Bangladesh (BD), resolving wrongdoing outside the criminal justice system is not a new practice. Community-based mediation, known as salish, has been practised for centuries – withstanding colonisation, adaptation and distortion. Other practices, such as village courts and customary justice, are also prevalent in Bangladesh. Of these, village courts are currently the most widely practised in Bangladesh. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ Bangladesh) formally introduced restorative justice in 2013 with the support of international non-governmental organisations (INGOs), NGOs, academics and government agencies. Most of the literature on community-based justice practice focuses on village courts; academic, peer-reviewed research on restorative justice in Bangladesh is scarce. This qualitative study explores the growth and development of restorative justice in Bangladesh. Using in-depth qualitative interviews and survey, the study retraces the genesis of restorative justice in Bangladesh. In recent times, GIZ Bangladesh has been key to the development of restorative justice, which was further expanded by UNDP’s Activating Village Courts project, as well as a graduate course on restorative justice at the University of Dhaka. This study also finds contentious themes raised by the key informants, specifically the role of INGOs, government and community.


Muhammad Asadullah
Muhammad Asadullah is Assistant Professor at the Department of Justice Studies, University of Regina, Canada.

Brenda Morrison
Brenda Morrison is Associate Professor at the School of Criminology, Simon Fraser University, Canada. Contact author: Muhammad.Asadullah@uregina.ca.

    Restorative justice has frequently been presented as a new criminal justice paradigm, and as something that is radically different from punishment. I will argue that this ‘oppositioning’ is problematic for two reasons: first, because some cases of restorative justice constitute de facto punishment from the perspectives of some positions on what punishment is; second, because restorative justice could reasonably be more widely adopted as a new form of de jure punishment, which could potentially increase the use of restorative justice for the benefit of victims, offenders and society at large. In connection with the latter, I want to present some preliminary thoughts on how restorative justice could be incorporated into future criminal justice systems as de jure punishment. Furthermore, I will suggest that by insisting that restorative justice is radically different from punishment, restorative justice advocates may − contrary to their intentions − play into the hands of those who want to preserve the status quo rather than developing future criminal justice systems in the direction of restorative justice.


Christian Gade
Christian B. N. Gade is an associate professor of human security and anthropology at Aarhus University and a mediator in the Danish victim-offender mediation programme (Konfliktråd). Corresponding author: gade@cas.au.dk. Acknowledgements: I would like to thank Pernille Reese, head of the Danish Victim-Offender Mediation Secretariat, for our many dialogues about restorative justice and punishment. Furthermore, I am grateful to Søren Rask Bjerre Christensen and Isabelle Sauer for their thoughtful comments on earlier drafts of this article. Last but not least, I would like to thank the three anonymous reviewers for their valuable feedback.
Article

Access_open A future agenda for environmental restorative justice?

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue 1 2021
Keywords restorative justice, restorative practice, environmental justice, environmental regulation
Authors Miranda Forsyth, Deborah Cleland, Felicity Tepper e.a.
AbstractAuthor's information

    The challenges of developing meaningful environmental regulation to protect communities and the environment have never been greater. Environmental regulators are regularly criticised for failing to act hard and consistently, in turn leading to demands for harsher punishments and more rigorous enforcement. Whilst acknowledging the need for strong enforcement to address wantonly destructive practices threatening communities and ecosystems, we argue that restorative approaches have an important role. This article explores a future agenda for environmental restorative justice through (1) situating it within existing scholarly and practice-based environmental regulation traditions; (2) identifying key elements and (3) raising particular theoretical and practical challenges. Overall, our vision for environmental restorative justice is that its practices can permeate the entire regulatory spectrum, going far beyond restorative justice conferences within enforcement proceedings. We see it as a shared and inclusive vision that seeks to integrate, hybridise and build broader ownership for environmental restorative justice throughout existing regulatory practices and institutions, rather than creating parallel structures or paradigms.


Miranda Forsyth
Miranda Forsyth is Associate Professor at the School of Regulation and Governance in the College of Asia and Pacific in the Australian National University, Australia.

Deborah Cleland
Deborah Cleland is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the School of Regulation and Governance in the College of Asia and Pacific in the Australian National University, Australia.

Felicity Tepper
Felicity Tepper is a Senior Research Officer at the School of Regulation and Governance in the College of Asia and Pacific in the Australian National University, Australia.

Deborah Hollingworth
Deborah Hollingworth is a Principal Solicitor at the Environment Protection Authority Victoria, Australia.

Milena Soares
Milena Soares is a public servant at the Técnica de Desenvolvimento e Administração,Brazil.

Alistair Nairn
Alistair Nairn is Senior Engagement Advisor at the Environment Protection Authority Victoria, Australia.

Cathy Wilkinson
Cathy Wilkinson is Professor of Practice at Monash Sustainable Development, Australia. Contact author: miranda.forsyth@anu.edu.au.
Article

Imagining a community that includes non-human beings

The 1990s Moyainaoshi Movement in Minamata, Japan

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue 1 2021
Keywords restorative justice, community, environmental damage, spirituality, Japan, the Moyainaoshi Movement
Authors Orika Komatsubara
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article offers a vision of a community that includes non-human beings. After suffering environmental damage, a community is often harmed and confused. Restorative justice may have the potential to intervene in divisions with a community approach. However, though environmental damage affects both human and non-human beings, restorative justice typically concerns itself with human communities. Therefore, through a review of the literature I consider what non-human beings mean for a community, focusing on the Moyainaoshi Movement (MM) in Minamata, Japan, in the 1990s. This movement aimed to reconstruct the community after severe, long-term pollution. First, I examine the motivations of several stakeholders that worked to reconstruct the Minamata community in the 1990s. Second, I clarify the role of non-human beings in the vision of community as practiced by the MM. I find that non-human beings served as symbols to connect human beings within the community. Finally, I conclude that a vision of a community that includes non-human beings can propel community reconstruction in our current political realities, and I reveal that in studying this concept of community in restorative justice, listening to victims’ voices is of paramount importance.


Orika Komatsubara
Orika Komatsubara is working under a Research Fellowship for Young Scientists from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). This study was supported by Grant Number 20J00091. Contact author: orika1982@gmail.com.
Article

Sustained restorative dialogue: exploring a proactive restorative process to help address campus sexual harm

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue Online First 2021
Keywords restorative justice, restorative dialogue, campus sexual violence, sexual harm, sociolinguistics
Authors Amy Giles-Mitson
AbstractAuthor's information

    Campus sexual harm is a widespread problem that demands approaches that focus on prevention, alongside those that respond to specific incidents of harm. This article presents the outcomes of a proactive initiative – a sustained restorative dialogue – that uses restorative circle practice in the university setting to better understand the issue of sexual harm, and identify practical steps that focus on its reduction. Speech data from post hoc interviews with participants of the dialogue is analysed in order to demonstrate the outcomes of the process, and highlight the value of using a dialogic model to address the issue on campus. Findings suggest that the process has very real potential for enhancing understanding and awareness and increasing communication on the topic, these being important precursors to transforming the cultural norms and campus climates that foster sexual harm.


Amy Giles-Mitson
Amy Giles-Mitson, PhD, is a researcher in linguistics and restorative justice at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. Contact author: Amy Giles-Mitson at amyjo_gm@yahoo.com.

Tali Gal
Tali Gal is a Senior Lecturer and Head of School of Criminology at the University of Haifa, Israel. Contact author: tali.gal.04@gmail.com.
Article

An Australian Aboriginal in-prison restorative justice process: a worldview explanation

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue 3 2020
Keywords Australian Aboriginal, prison, recidivism, worldview, restorative justice
Authors Jane Anderson
AbstractAuthor's information

    As a response to the over-representation of Australian Aboriginal offenders in Western Australian prisons and high rates of reoffending, this article presents a sketch of Western and Australian Aboriginal worldviews and core symbols as a basis for understanding the rehabilitative-restorative needs of this prisoner cohort. The work first reviews and argues that the Western-informed Risk-Need-Responsivity model of programming for Australian Aboriginal prisoners has limited value for preventing reoffending. An introduction and description are then given to an Aboriginal in-prison restorative justice process (AIPRJP) which is delivered in a regional Western Australian prison. The process is largely undergirded by an Australian Aboriginal worldview and directed to delivering a culturally constructive and corrective intervention. The AIPRJP uses a range of symbolic forms (i.e. ritual, myth, play, art, information), which are adapted to the prison context to bring about the aims of restorative justice. The article contends that culturally informed restorative justice processes can produce intermediate outcomes that can directly or indirectly be associated with reductions in reoffending.


Jane Anderson
Jane Anderson is Honorary Research Fellow, Anthropology and Sociology, Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, Australia. Contact author: jane.a@westnet.com.au; jane.anderson@uwa.edu.au.

John Braithwaite
John Braithwaite is an Emeritus Professor, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.

Susan L. Brooks
Susan Brooks is an Associate Dean and Professor of Law, Drexel University Kline School of Law, Philadelphia, USA.
Article

Restorative justice, anger, and the transformative energy of forgiveness

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue 3 2019
Keywords Restorative justice, ritual, anger, apology, forgiveness
Authors Meredith Rossner
AbstractAuthor's information

    Restorative justice has long been positioned as a justice mechanism that prioritises emotion and its expression. It is also unique in its ritual elements, such as the ritualized expression of anger and the symbolic exchange of apology and forgiveness. This paper draws on insights from research and practice in restorative justice and recent developments in criminology/legal theory and the philosophy of justice to suggest some ways that the broader criminal justice landscape can incorporate elements of successful restorative justice rituals into its practice. I argue that the unique elements of restorative justice- its ability to harness anger into a deliberative ritual for victims and offenders, its focus on symbolic reparations, and its ability to engender a form of forward-looking forgiveness that promotes civility- can provide a framework for rethinking how criminal justice institutions operate.


Meredith Rossner
Meredith Rossner will from 2020 be a Professor of Criminology, Centre for Social Research and Methods, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia. In 2019 she was an Associate Professor of Criminology at the London School of Economics and a visitor at the Center for Law and Public Affairs, Princeton University.
Article

Offenders’ understandings of forgiveness

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue 3 2019
Keywords Offenders, forgiveness, victim lens, offender lens
Authors Tamera Jenkins
AbstractAuthor's information

    Despite extensive research on victim perceptions of forgiveness comparatively little is known about the meaning offenders attach to forgiveness. Through in-depth interviews with 19 criminal offenders this study sought to lay foundational groundwork regarding offenders’ understandings of forgiveness. Offenders viewed forgiveness through both a ‘victim’ and ‘offender’ lens. From a victim perspective offenders described giving forgiveness as a response that enabled them to ‘let go’ or ‘get over’ personal harms. From an offender perspective receiving forgiveness was defined as being either conditional or unconditional. Conditional forgiveness was related to evidence of positive change in offenders that must occur prior to forgiveness while the essential characteristic of unconditional forgiveness was found to be love. A better understanding of the significance of forgiveness in the lives of criminal offenders has practical implications for clinicians, service providers, and criminal justice professionals involved in the treatment or custodial care of this population.


Tamera Jenkins
Tamera Jenkins, Ph.D., is an Adjunct Research Fellow at the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice of the Griffith University – Mount Gravatt Campus, Brisbane, Australia.
Article

Teaching restorative practices through games: an experiential and relational restorative pedagogy

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue 1 2019
Keywords restorative pedagogy, games, teaching, experiential learning
Authors Lindsey Pointer and Kathleen McGoey
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article argues for the use of games as an effective and dynamic way to teach restorative practices. Grounded in an understanding of restorative pedagogy, a paradigm of teaching in alignment with restorative values and principles, as well as experiential learning strategies, this article introduces games as a way for students to experience and more deeply understand restorative practices while building relationships and skills. Personal accounts of the authors about the impact of using games to teach restorative practices in their own communities are also included.


Lindsey Pointer
Lindsey Pointer is a PhD Candidate at Victoria University of Wellington and Creative Director of Aspen Restorative Consulting in Wellington, New Zealand.

Kathleen McGoey
Kathleen McGoey is the Executive Director of Longmont Community Justice Partnership, Longmont, USA.

Albert Dzur
Albert Dzur is Professor, Departments of Political Science and Philosophy, Bowling Green State University, USA. Contact author: awdzur@bgsu.edu.
Article

Measuring the restorativeness of restorative justice: the case of the Mosaica Jerusalem Programme

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue 2 2018
Keywords Restorative justice, criminal justice, criminal law taxonomy, victims, offenders
Authors Tali Gal, Hadar Dancig-Rosenberg and Guy Enosh
AbstractAuthor's information

    This study uses a Jerusalem-based restorative justice programme as a case study to characterise community restorative justice (CRJ) conferences. On the basis of the Criminal Law Taxonomy, an analytical instrument that includes seventeen measurable characteristics, it examines the procedural elements of the conferences, their content, goals and the role of participants. The analysis uncovers an unprecedented multiplicity of conference characteristics, including the level of flexibility, the existence of victim-offender dialogue, the involvement of the community and a focus on rehabilitative, future-oriented outcomes. The findings offer new insights regarding the theory and practice of CRJ and the gaps between the two.


Tali Gal
Tali Gal is Associate Professor and Senior Lecturer, School of Criminology, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel.

Hadar Dancig-Rosenberg
Hadar Dancig-Rosenberg is Visiting Professor, UC Berkeley School of Law (2017-2018) and Associate Professor, Bar-Ilan University Faculty of Law, Ramat-Gan, Israel.

Guy Enosh
Guy Enosh is Associated Professor, Faculty of Welfare and Health Sciences, School of Social Work, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel. Contact author: tgal1@univ.haifa.ac.il. Note: The first two authors have contributed equally; the third author contributed to the methodology. Acknowledgements: We are grateful to Gali Pilowsky-Menkes and Rotem Spiegler for outstanding data collection assistance. We are also grateful to Caroline Cooper, Netanel Dagan and Adi Libson for insightful comments. We are particularly indebted to the Mosaica workers and volunteers who provided us access to their materials while ensuring the privacy of all parties involved.
Article

Access_open Adult reparation panels and offender-centric meso-communities: an answer to the conundrum

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue 1 2018
Keywords Adult reparation panels, meso-community of care, concern and accountability, reintegration, restoration, surrogate familial bonds
Authors Darren J. McStravick
AbstractAuthor's information

    The community paradigm is continually cited as an important influence within restorative practices. However, this influence has not been sufficiently clarified. This article seeks to answer this conundrum by identifying a novel meso-community of care, concern and accountability that has been emerging as part of adult reparation panel procedures. This offender-centric community consists of traditionally secondary justice stakeholders led by criminal justice representative professionals including police officers and probation officials. It also includes lay volunteers and reparation programme officials dependent on state funding and cooperation. Professionalised panellists have led the development of surrogate familial bonds with offenders through the incorporation of a welfare ethos as part of case discourses. This care and concern approach has increased opportunities within case agreements for successful reintegration and rehabilitation. However, this article also acknowledges some concerns within panel processes in that, by attempting to increase accountability for harms caused, there is a danger that panellists are blurring the restorative lines between rehabilitation and genuine restoration and reparation.


Darren J. McStravick
Darren J. McStravick is a lecturer in Law, School of Law, Kingston University, Kingston upon Thames, UK. Contact author: D.mcstravick@kingston.ac.uk.
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