Doing Justice: New Directions in Restorative Justice

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Restorative Justice, Nova Scotia Restorative Justice Program, Rights Protection, Gender-Based Violence, Criminal Justice System, Equity and Diversity, Community Empowerment, Research Trends


When I was invited to contribute to the discussion of this year's theme "Doing Justice: Dispute Resolution in Courts and Beyond' by considering new directions in restorative justice, I began to take stock of where restorative justice has been and where it is going. My thoughts are occupied with the future directions of restorative justice often these days in my capacity as Director of the Nova Scotia Restorative Justice Community University Research Alliance (NSRJ-CURA). The NSRJ-CURA is a five year research initiative that is concerned with issues of theory and practice that emerge as restorative justice moves from its nascent stages toward greater permanency as institutionalized models of justice. The Nova Scotia Restorative Justice Program is a focal point for this research. As the most developed and comprehensive restorative justice program in Canada and a world leader, the Nova Scotia Program provides a unique opportunity to explore the new practical and theoretical questions that emerge with the institutionalization of restorative justice. This research will offer visions of, and support for, new directions in restorative justice both at the conceptual and practical levels. There are currently 17 research projects underway within the NSRJ-CURA addressing issues including: the reception and integration of restorative justice within the criminal justice system; equity and diversity issues in restorative justice; the appropriate means and mode of measuring success; the challenge of restorative justice to the compartmentalization of government funding and services; community empowerment/capacity building as a goal of restorative justice; rights protection in restorative justice; and the application of restorative justice to gender-based violence.