Restorative Justice: Strategies for Change is a cross-European venture that aims:
- to contribute towards refocusing European criminal justice systems, agencies, policies and practices around restorative principles and processes; and
- to determine how the Council of Europe Recommendation CM/Rec (2018) concerning restorative justice in criminal matters could be used to support this work.
Ten European jurisdictions are participating including Scotland and Ireland.
In October 2018, Dr. Ian Marder (Maynooth University, Department of Law), Gert Jan Slump (Restorative Justice Nederland), Tim Chapman, Dr. Bart Claes and Edit Törzs (all members of European Forum for Restorative Justice [EFRJ]) agreed to act as Project Partners on a new cross-European venture, entitled: Restorative Justice: Strategies for Change. The idea for this work emerged from conversations between several restorative justice scholars, policymakers and practitioners at the 10th conference of the EFRJ in Tirana, Albania, in June 2018.
The agreed aims (see above) were to be achieved through the appointment of up to four Core Members from each participating jurisdiction, who became responsible for bringing together a wider national Stakeholder Group. Core Members will facilitate the co-creation of a strategy, in collaboration with their Stakeholder Group, by collectively identifying and distributing actions which seek to stimulate the implementation of the new Recommendation.
The project is intentionally framed broadly so that participants from each jurisdiction are free to determine which actions are most needed and viable in each local context. European jurisdictions have diverse legal and criminal justice cultures and are at different stages in their implementation of restorative justice. The project assumes that persons who work within each jurisdiction are best placed to determine what is needed to develop this work locally. At the same time, the project assumes that there is value in cross-European collaboration which can enable us to learn from and support each other, sharing information on what does or does not work, under what circumstances.
Ten European jurisdictions are participating: Albania, Belgium, Czechia, Estonia, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Scotland.
Core Members from each jurisdiction are variously drawn from academia, justice departments,
criminal justice agencies and NGOs. By participating in the project, Core Members committed
to organising at least two events per year for their Stakeholder Group in order to co-create
and implement a strategy for developing restorative justice.
The project will last until January 2023. Over the course of the project, it is hoped that we will make significant gains in all ten jurisdictions, building on existing successes and stimulating or supporting the
development of restorative justice in our criminal justice systems.