Human Rights, New Directions, Familiar Complexities, Public Understanding of Justice, Public Mood about Justice Issues, Political Complexities, Bureaucratic Complexities, Legal Complexities
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).1 The NSRJCURA 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.2 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.
Jennifer Llewellyn, “Doing Justice: New Directions in Restorative Justice” in R. Murphy, ed, Doing Justice: Dispute Resolution in the Courts and Beyond (Ottawa: Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice, 2007).