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Principles

PRINCIPLES OF RESTORATIVE PRACTICE

Members are asked to commit to the Principles of Restorative Practice listed here.

For additional development, we suggest that you read widely, using the links below as a starting point.

 

  • Wrongdoing – breaking the law or the rules – is primarily regarded as an offence against people and relationships. It is recognized that laws and rules have a vital purpose in our lives – to keep us safe and allow us to flourish in peaceful, ordered communities, and that when the laws/rules are breached, harm is done which threatens safety, order and peace.
  • When harm is done, we believe that to return to order, safety and peace, we must respond in a way that addresses those harms – both for the victim and the wrongdoer and the wider community of people affected. To ignore this harm is to invite alienation and disconnection of all the people involved whether they are victims or offenders, their respective supporters, or the wider community.
  • The restorative approach to problem-solving seeks to find ways to make things right and to heal the harms, whether they are substantive damages involving people’s property, or physical or emotional injury. For this to work, those responsible need be willing to acknowledge their role in what happened and take responsibility for the harm done. This approach requires follow-up support for both victim and wrongdoers and accountability structures utilizing the natural community as much as possible, since keeping agreements is the key to building a trusting community.
  • Restorative Justice practices are underpinned by a set of values, these include: empowerment, honesty, respect, humility, engagement, voluntarism, healing, restoration, accountability, inclusiveness, collaboration, participation, interconnectedness, problem-solving and hope.
  • Restorative Practice prefers voluntary participation with a minimum of coercion, since healing in relationships and new learning are voluntary and cooperative processes. We believe that the community of people affected by wrongdoing (including the wrongdoer) is the one that understands the problem best, and therefore is best placed to participate in problem-solving. Consensual participation by both victims and wrongdoers, particularly in mediation or conferences, is necessary to ensure that programs are effective and to prevent procedural and human rights abuses.
  • There is no one way that restorative processes should be delivered. We strongly believe there is no one way which is “right”. Rather it is the adoption of any form which reflects restorative values and which aims to achieve restorative processes, outcomes and objectives.

For further information we recommend the following links:

http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/documents/rj_bestpractice.pdf?view=Binary

http://www.justice.govt.nz/publications/global-publications/r/restorative-justice-in-new-zealand-best-practice/publication/?searchterm=Restorative%20Justice%20values

http://www.restorativejustice.org.uk/resource/new_zealand_principles_and_values_for_restorative_justice_2004/

http://www.iirp.edu/pdf/beth06_davey7.pdf

http://peace.fresno.edu/docs/rjprinc.html,