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Radio interview asks: is restorative justice a new form of justice for society?

Courage, pain and peace: legal philosopher and founder of RJ4All Dr. Theo Gavrielides contributed to discussions on the relevance, values, and challenges of restorative justice today

On 19 October 2022, Dr. Gavrielides shared powerful case studies drawn from his primary research and academic publications, as well as day-to-day engagements with RJ values and practices – from engagements with individuals in prison to conversations with his own son. 

The discussion reminded listeners that there is provision in the law where restorative justice (RJ) can be called on and lead to diversions, at all stages in the criminal justice system. The current state of the system would suggest that the increased use of RJ in these stages would be a beneficial improvement: 

“The current criminal justice system is failing in terms of re-offending statistics alone  – among adults, and even worse amongst youth – while also in terms of victim satisfaction.” Gavrielides shared. 

But what impact does RJ have on the “offender”? What challenges could this involve? The interview broached key themes surrounding RJ in practice – particularly courage, change and restorative pain. Dr. Gavrielides underlines that the completion of a consensual resolution through RJ has a better chance of succeeding, but acknowledges is indeed not easy. Its greatest value is simultaneously its greatest challenge.

Other than criminal offences, what else can be resolved by restorative justice? Dr. Gavrielides situates the concept of RJ as just one of the existing methodologies to address power imbalances and abuse. The principles of RJ, in particular those of power-sharing, dignity, respect, quality and forgiveness, are the ethos of the non-profit CIC Gavrielides founded in 2013, Restorative Justice for All International Institute (RJ4All). 

“[RJ4All is] the organisation I set up some time ago when I felt there was a power imbalance in society – whether in the local or international community. … As an organisation, the biggest work we do is about prevention, in schools, educational and youth settings.” 

In what ways could RJ bring peace to society? From its use in the criminal justice system to practising values of dignity & respect daily to your family, friends, and colleagues, tune in to the show’s playback to hear a snapshot about restorative justice in practice. 

Catch a version of the live show here: 

Don’t miss out on RJ4All’s upcoming international event on 25th November 2022, addressing key social issues and using the values and practices of restorative justice: Voices from within: Preventing violent youth radicalisation, school exclusion, cyberbullying and homelessnessBook your spot now!

Along with the book referenced in the interview: Gavrielides, T. (2021). Power, Race & Justice: The restorative dialogue we won’t have. Abingdon: Routledge.

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