Launch of Criminal Justice Sectoral Strategy, Northern Irish Adult RJ Strategy, Law Reform Commission consultation on state compensation for victims – March update
23rd March 2022

March update – Launch of Criminal Justice Sectoral Strategy, Northern Irish Adult RJ Strategy, Law Reform Commission consultation on state compensation for victims

Criminal Justice Sectoral Strategy launched

This month saw the launch of the Criminal Justice Sectoral Strategy, 2022-2024. Under Action 2.2 Embed a victim-centred approach across all stages of the criminal justice system, the strategy commits to ‘establish an appropriate mechanism to create awareness and availability of Restorative Justice at all stages of the criminal justice system, in line with published policy proposals’ and ‘ensure a consistency of service and quality in training and practice related to Restorative Justice’ (p.11). Also, under Action 4.1 We will support and develop a diverse, empathetic, and trauma-informed workforce, restorative practice is listed as one of the topics on which the sector will ‘develop and roll out joint training programmes to address a number of identified cross-cutting sectoral issues’ (p.18).

We have added the strategy to our webpage on Irish Law, Policy and Reports – check out that page for more information about restorative justice and restorative practices in Irish criminal justice, and let us know if you think anything is missing from there!

Restorative practice webinar attracts over 130 participants

In March, RJS4C co-organised a national webinar, with colleagues from local restorative practice partnerships in Dublin, Limerick and Roscommon. You can find a write up of the event here. If there are any topics on which you think we should organise an event, or if you would like us to collaborate with you on something you are organising, please feel free to reach out!

Northern Ireland launches adult restorative justice strategy

The Northern Irish Department of Justice has launched Restoring Relationships, Redressing Harm – Adult Restorative Justice Strategy for Ireland, 2022-2027. This aims ‘to set out a comprehensive and strategic approach to the use of restorative justice in all aspects and at all stages of the adult criminal justice system’ and incorporates a relational definition of restorative practice, with restorative justice as a subset of these practices that respond to crime and wrongdoing. You can find the strategy here and news coverage of its launch here.

Northern Ireland has also appointed former Victim Support CEO Geraldine Hanna as its first Victims of Crime Commissioner (see here), while the Northern Irish Commission for Victims and Survivors is seeking members for its Freelance Register of Facilitators, Researchers, Workshop Coordinators and Artists (see here).

Law Reform Commission launch consultation on compensating victims of crime

You may be interested in the Law Reform Commission’s work to reform state compensation for victims of violence. A news article on this consultation can be found here. You can respond to the consultation here (closes April 19th) and access the summary consultation document here. If you work with victims of violent crime, you could circulate this survey seeking their experiences of accessing (or not accessing) state compensation.

The Crime Victims Helpline also organised an event for the European Day for Victims of Crime – see a write up in the Irish Times here.

Events and other resources

  • KU Leuven is hosting the final event of RE-JUSTICE, a European project on judicial training for restorative justice, on 30-31 March. This can be attended in person or online.
  • The European Forum for Restorative Justice will host its first in-person conference since 2018 in Sardinia this June. For more details, see here.
  • The new Restorative Lab at Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia has also organsied its first online events on restorative communities, campus sexual violence and image-based sexual abuse. To register or sign up to their mailing list, see the attached pdf.
  • Mint House in Oxford has organised a webinar on restorative policing in June – register here.
  • Belvedere Youth Club in Dublin has launched a tendering opportunity to support its restorative practice project – see here.
  • RTÉ Brainstorm has published an interesting article on mediation, entitled ‘When is an apology really an apology?’ – see here.