Justice Bites: Restorative Justice

Justice Bites LogoFollowing on from our successful Talking Justice series in May, we are happy to present Justice Bites, the first of what we hope will be a regular series of one-off talks on justice related issues. This free public lecture will canvas the value and application of Restorative Justice principles, particularly in the context of sexual offending and family violence.

Courts and the community often struggle to find innovative solutions to offending that take into account the needs of victims and the community, and the need to support criminals to not re-offend. Increasingly, those of us who work in the law are looking to Restorative Justice as a viable alternative to more traditional retributive responses to criminal behaviour.

Rob Hulls, the Director of the Centre for Innovative Justice, will discuss the Centre’s recent report into sexual offending. He will outline its recommendations and explore their potential application as a means of promoting victim empowerment and offender accountability.

David Moore, communications consultant and current President of the Victorian Association for Restorative Justice, will explain and compare the common elements of restorative practices in programs such as Family-Led Decision-Making, the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce, and Restorative Conferencing for sexual assault cases.

Following their presentations, Rob and David will participate in a panel discussion on Restorative Justice with Carolyn Worth (Manager, South Eastern Centre Against Sexual Assault) and Katrina Robinson (Youth Justice Group Conferencing Convenor, CatholicCare Sandhurst).

Background

Earlier this year the Centre for Innovative Justice (CIJ) released a report entitled Innovative Justice Responses to Sexual Offending. The report addressed a serious gap in the criminal justice system: most sexual assault victims do not report to police, and if they do, their complaint does not ultimately result in a conviction. Not only does this mean very few victims have access to any sort of justice outcome, it also represents a significant avoidance of accountability on the part of offenders.

The CIJ recommended a range of innovative justice reforms, which balance the justice needs of victims with the public interest in prosecuting sexual offending. In particular, the report identified restorative justice conferencing as an initiative that should form part of the suite of available justice options for victims.

Restorative justice conferencing is a process where the victim and offender come together in a safe, facilitated encounter to repair, to the extent possible, the harm caused by the offending. A successful conference can result in an outcome agreement that might encompass an apology, financial compensation, a commitment by the offender to enter treatment, and an agreement about future contact or disclosure to family members.

The CIJ consulted with experts in Australia and New Zealand, and designed a comprehensive best practice restorative justice framework that can sit alongside the conventional criminal justice system, as an additional option for victims.

The report also discussed other therapeutic justice innovations, such as specialist sexual offence courts and pre-release courts.

Details

Where? La Trobe University Visual Arts Centre, 121 View St, Bendigo.

When? Wednesday 6 August 2014, 2-4.30pm.

Cost? Free.

Bookings? Please visit our Eventbrite page to register.

The Speakers

Rob HullsRob Hulls

Rob Hulls is the inaugural Director at RMIT’s Centre for Innovative Justice, established in late 2012.  He previously served in Federal Parliament from 1990-1993, and in Victorian State Parliament, holding a number of offices including that of Attorney-General.  As Attorney-General he established our specialist courts, introduced an open tender process for applicants to Victoria’s judiciary, and saw the establishment of a states’ first Charter of Human Rights.

 

David MooreDavid Moore

David Moore is a communications consultant and current President of the Victorian Association for Restorative Justice. He is also Principal Consultant for Sydney-based Primed Change Consulting. David taught history and politics at Melbourne University and Charles Sturt University, where he also coordinated Justice Studies and was centrally involved in pioneering reforms using the Conferencing process in justice and education systems. He worked in the Queensland Premier’s Department before co-founding Transformative Justice Australia in 1995. From 1996 – 2002, David taught with TJA in Australia, North America and Europe, and provided conflict management services for Australian organisations. David’s current consulting includes work with CSIRO, the Federal Attorney General’s Department, Victorian State Government Departments, and several Australian Universities, as well as teaching through the La Trobe Law School Dispute Resolution program.

Sponsors & Partners

Loddon Campaspe Community Legal Centre gratefully acknowledges the generous support of La Trobe University, CatholicCare Sandhurst and the Central Victorian Restorative Justice Alliance.

Trobe University logoCatholicCare Sandhurst logoRestorative Justice logo

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