The European Commission has announced the award of a two year victim-led restorative justice (RJ) programme titled “Restorative Justice in Europe: Safeguarding Victims & Empowering Professionals” (RJE).

The project will start on 1 December under the direction of IARS’ Founder and Director, Prof. Dr. Theo Gavrielides. RJE will facilitate the implementation of the EU Directives on Minimum Standards of Victims and Protection Measures. These Directives are expected to have a significant impact on how restorative practices (e.g. mediation, conferencing) are delivered in EU member states.

Independent Academic Research Studies (IARS), a leading UK-based international think-tanks with expertise in community-led solutions to crime, such as restorative justice, will lead a partnership of 5 organisations from 5 EU countries: the Institute of Conflict Resolution (Bulgaria), the University of Applied Sciences for Public Administration Bremen (Germany), Restorative Justice Netherlands (the Netherlands) and the European Public Law Organisation (Greece).

Professor Gavrielides said: “This project could not have been more timely. Given our government’s increasing interest and investment in restorative justice, this news from Europe will help us support the implementation of practices that respond to the real needs and wishes of victims, offenders and their communities. Enough money has been wasted on top down policies and practices. With the support of our partners, this project will fundamentally change the way restorative justice is seen and delivered across Europe. It is my ambition to give restorative justice back to where it belongs – the community”.

Atul Sharda, Ministry of Justice official said: “We look forward to seeing the outcomes of this project. The insight gained from the RJ experiences of victims, offenders and practitioners will be helpful in informing future guidance”.

Prof. Chankova, Project Lead for Bulgaria said: “Victims’ time has finally come for shaping RJ practices”. Prof. Hartmann, Project Lead for Germany said: “We are very pleased with this opportunity to improve justice for victims of crime – rarely are they given the chance to say what they really need”.

The project will also bring together a network of experienced RJ practitioners from the youth and adult fields that deal with low-level and more serious offences. This is an exciting development as it provides for the exchanging of information and ideas on how RJ can continue to be developed by the local community.

We hope that government and non-government organisations will collaborate in making this exciting step into a journey towards embedding RJ across the UK and Europe as a whole.

Contact:  Dr Theo Gavrielides, IARS Director on Office Line +44(0) 20 7820 0945, Direct mobile: 07955728951, Office Mobile: 07833224442 or email: 



Professor Gavrielides' profile and publications can be accessed via here

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Notes to the Editor

RJE is funded under EC Grant Agreement JUST/2011-2012/JPEN/AG/2951

IARS is a leading, international think-tank with a charitable mission to give everyone a chance to forge a safer, fairer and more inclusive society. We achieve our charitable aims by producing evidence-based solutions to current social problems, sharing best practice and by supporting young people to shape decision making. IARS is an international expert in restorative justice, human rights and inclusion, citizenship and user-led research. We are known for our robust, independent, evidence-based approach to solving current social problems, and we are considered a pioneer in user-involvement and the application of user-led research methods.