STOP PRESS: SE16 London restorative justice postcode to feature at international restorative justice experts’ meeting in Colombia
On the 14th and 15th February 2023, an international conference will take place in Bogotá, Colombia, to discuss the application of restorative justice in both ordinary criminal justice systems as well as transitional justice systems. Following an opening by the Colombian Minister of Justice and Law, Dr. Néstor Osuna, Minister of Justice and Law, and Mr. Steve Hege, Colombia Country Program Director, USIP, Professor Theo Gavrielides, the Founder and Director of the RJ4All International Institute, will draw on his expertise in restorative justice and present the value of a holistic approach to social justice. Gavrielides will demonstrate RJ4All’s latest vision to build the first restorative justice postcode in London, UK, following close work with Vancouver-based organisation Peace of the Circle in the development of a restorative city framework.
Hosted by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) in conjunction with Colombia’s Ministry of Justice, the event will join international restorative justice experts together with representatives from Colombia’s Ministry of Justice and Law; magistrates and officials of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP); those who are appearing before the JEP; victims of the Colombian armed conflict and other types of violence; civil society organisations, members of religious communities; members of the academy and students, among others.
“ At RJ4All, we believe that a new social contract between communities and governments is needed to address the decline in public trust in public services. Using our postcode (SE16) and the values and principles of restorative justice, we have set off on a journey of bringing together key stakeholders and our local community to build the first restorative postcode in the word. ” Dr Gavrielides said.
Amidst calls in Colombia for a shift from a punitive conception of justice to one that is more restorative, the two-day event will provide technical recommendations for criminal justice reform legislation in Colombia, while also strengthening (inter)national networks to support restorative justice processes.
“ We are aiming for this event to continue the conversation on RJ and its application in Colombia (both in its Transitional Justice and Criminal Legal System forms), with many people calling for a cultural change in Colombia – moving from a punitive to a restorative application of justice. ” said Dr. Carl Stauffer, Senior Expert for Reconciliation, USIP.
Other international speakers will include Dr Jennifer Llewellyn, Dr. Thalia Saarman Gonzalez, John Caulker and Dr. Fania Davis. Additionally, USIP has highlighted the particular significance of the inclusion of indigenous and Afro-Colombian organisations amongst participants, whose experiences can contribute to constructive discussions about the incorporation of restorative justice measures in the administration of justice and the peaceful resolution of conflict.
Through presentations, case studies and workgroups, panellists and delegates will engage with restorative best practices and cultural understandings to address topics including societal integration of restorative justice, alternative sanctioning and the incorporation of indigenous restorative practices into the transitional justice system.
Notes to Editors:
 The transitional justice mechanism through which members of the FARC, the Public Force and third parties who have participated in the Colombian armed conflict are investigated and put on trial.
 November 2022 marked six years after the signing of the 2016 Final Peace Accord between the Colombian government and the FARC-EP guerilla group.