IARS is celebrating International Restorative Justice Week 2013  (17th to 24th November) under the theme “Inspiring Innovation” and it is aiming to raise awareness on restorative justice across UK, Europe and internationally.

Restorative Justice Week, initiated by Correctional Service Canada (CSC) aims to celebrate restorative justice practitioners, volunteers and those who are working in the community as well as to raise awareness of restorative justice and its practices worldwide.  This year’s theme “Inspiring Innovation” encourages practitioners’ and those who are working on the field to showcase and share innovative thoughts and practices as well as to consider new innovative approaches to their work, taking advantages of technology and theoretical progression within the field.

“Inspiring Innovation” is falling well within IARS founding principles and current work on building evidence based recommendations that reflect the desires of victims and those directly involved in restorative processes, that are usually ignored at the decision making level. For example, in partnership with 5 European Organisation and 12 Associates, IARS leading on the 2 year EU project “Restorative Justice in Europe: Safeguarding Victims & Empowering Professionals” that aims to support countries to incorporate the EU Victims Directive in national legislation and develop a pan European user – led framework for the development of standards, training material, protocols and safeguards for restorative justice.

IARS’ Founder and Director, Professor Theo Gavrielides, has expressed concerns about the direction that restorative justice policy and practice have taken in the UK. “I am not confident that we are honouring the ethos of restorative justice here in the UK. Top down structures that wish to control restorative justice are disrespectful of its innovative and bottom up nature”, Dr. Gavrielides said. His paper for the CSC is titled ““Five ways to kill innovation for restorative justice” and uses the latest developments in the UK for international learning.

At national level, IARS has worked in partnership with other organisations to support them to develop innovative restorative justice policies and strategies such as the Greater Manchester Probation Trust (GMPT) , providing them with independent evidence based advice and recommendations. The case study is included in IARS 2012 book  “Waves of Healing” .  While, as user-led organisation that promotes bottom up policies and practices we are ensuring an on-going dialogue with the government. A letter to the minister of Justice Jeremy Wright, relating to the  Restorative Service Standards and a Quality Mark  can be found  here.

Further, new breakthrough research  on the use of positive psychology and restorative justice will be launched and debated at IARS Annual Conference on the 6th of December at the Honorable Society of the Middle Temple, following findings from the recent publication Gavrielides, T. and Worth, P. (2013). “Another push for restorative justice: Positive psychology & offender rehabilitation” in Crime: International Perspectives, Socioeconomic Factors and Psychological Implications“, USA: Nova Science Publishers.

Throughout the week IARS, in partnership with the international RJ4ALL Institute, will coordinate a range of activities to promote Restorative Justice across UK, Europe and will be internationally publicizing free learning resources, case studies, audiovisual material and promoting events that will be taking place around the world. On a daily basis a case study from our European partners will be available here. Special offers will be also available throughout the week on Restorative Justice related IARS publications.

Notes to Editors

Contact: Andriana Ntziadima – IARS Promotions & Resources Manager | a.ntziadima@iars.org.uk| 02078200945| 07833224442|


About IARS

IARS is a UK-based 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 and the community to shape decision making. IARS is an international expert in criminal justice, restorative justice, human rights and inclusion, citizenship, public service and user-led research. To find out more about IARS please follow the link www.iars.org.uk

+44 (0) 20 7820 0945, Mob: 07833224442, contact@iars.org.uk

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