Over 20 countries were represented at the IARS 3rd Annual International Conference – A victim-led Criminal Justice System? that took place on 19-20 November marking International Restorative Justice Week.
I remember one afternoon in November 2012 in Vancouver, asking my friend Dr. Evelyn Zellerer, Director of Canadian-based Peace of the Circle, why Restorative Justice week is not a international event. Initiated by the Correctional Service Canada (CSC), it has been celebrated annually across Canada since 1996.
Current developments and reforms that occur nationally and internationally in order to incorporate victims’ rights in the criminal justice system will be debated at IARS’ 3rd International Annual Conference 2014 titled “A Victim-led Criminal Justice System?”, that will take place during International Restorative Justice Week 2014, on 19th-20th November in central London at the Honourable Society of Middle Temple (Middle Temple Lane, EC4Y 9AT). The event will be co-chaired by Dr. Theo Gavrielides (IARS Director) and Patron Simon Israel (Channel 4 TV).
At a critical point in the development of IARS, we are proud to announce that three high profile figures have joined the IARS team as its Patrons. These are: Emeritus Professor Dr. Judy Atkinson (ex-Director of Gnibi the College of Indigenous Australian Peoples), Professor Dr. Kay Hampton (Scottish Human Rights Commissioner) and Simon Israel (Channel 4 Home Affairs Correspondent). Professor Dr. Howard Williamson CBE (University of South Wales) and Dr. Daniel Briggs (Universidad Europea de Madrid) also joined IARS Academic Board.
The Trustees of IARS and Channel 4 Home Affairs Correspondent and IARS' Patron, Simon Israel are delighted to hold this year's biggest international justice networking event in the evening of Thursday 20th (17:30 - 19:00) at the Law Society, 113 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1PL.
The reception is held on behalf of the charity in celebration of International Restorative Justice Week following IARS 2014 Annual Conference. This is a fantastic opportunity for anyone interested in a career in human rights, criminal justice or restorative justice as it will bring together leading experts, employers, policy makers, practitioners, barristers and academics from Europe, Canada, South Africa, Australia, the US and New Zealand. Tickets (£15) can be purchased online or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and are available on a first come basis.
IARS is delighted to host Peacemaking Circles Training facilitated by Dr. Evelyn Zellerer, an international restorative justice expert, on the 21st of November in celebration of Restorative Justice Week 2014. The training will enable you to learn about, and explore, the work of Peacemaking Circles.
This week, our Home Secretary, the Rt Hon Theresa May, closed her public consultation on strengthening the law on domestic violence. There seems to be a wish to create a specific offence that captures patterns of coercive and controlling behaviour in intimate relationships. I continue to cast doubt as to whether penalisation and criminalisation of social justice failures, such as domestic violence, will provide us with answers.
IARS has supported one of the refugee women involved in our Abused No More project to submit written evidence of her direct personal experience of immigration detention. Mariam was detained twice, and altogether spent two years in Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre. When in Yarl's Wood, she applied for bail eleven times, and was refused: 'Everytime I was refused bail, I would have a nervous breakdown but there was no psychological support available'.