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The “Restorative Justice in Europe: Safeguarding Victims & Empowering Professionals” (RJE) is a transnational two year project that started on 1st December 2012, and will facilitate the implementation of the Directive 2012/29/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 or as otherwise known "the Victims' Directive". The Directive establishes minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime, replacing Council Framework Decision 2001/220/JHA. The RJE focuses on the implementation of the restorative justice related articles.
RJE is led by the international, UK-based think-tank Independent Academic Research Studies (IARS) and is supervised by Professor Dr. Theo Gavrielides. RJ4All hosts the RJE Project website on behalf of IARS.
RJE is delivered in 5 participating countries through a partnership of 5 organisations. These are 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).
RJE is supported by 12 Associate Partners who are experts in the area of victims and restorative justice: the University of Cyprus (Cyprus), Restorative Thinking (UK), the Register of Restorative Practitioners (UK), Restorative Justice International (USA), the Forgiveness Project (UK), HM Prison Altcourse (UK), the European Forum for Restorative Justice (Belgium), the Centre for Restorative Justice at Simon Fraser University (Canada), Prof. Gerry Johnstone (UK), Foresee (Hungary), Ulster University (Northern Ireland) and Victim Support (UK).
RJE’s general objective is to produce scientific and practical results that will be directly used by decision makers, policy makers and practitioners in their national implementation of the Victims' Directives. The produced material are evidence-based, and reflect the needs and wishes of victims and professionals. RJE's scientific and practical results will be written in English, Bulgarian, German, Dutch and Greek. In particular, RJE will create an evidence base that will be used to:
RJE's activities are organised into 5 workstreams (WK) following a clear and methodological order. WK 1 (Review & Theoretical Development) looks at existing evidence from the 5 participating countries and internationally. WK 2 (Fieldwork) conducted action research in the participating countries with victims, offenders and professionals to collect new knowledge. WK 3 (Production) uses the evidence base from WK 1&2 to produce material for victims’ safeguards, including training orogrammes for professionals and best practice guidance for multi-agency cooperation. WK 4 (Pilot & Implementation) will pilot the practical results of RJE in various institutions and contexts in the participating countries (e.g. in prisons, police, probation, the community). WK 5 (Dissemination – Cooperation – Awareness Raising) aims to disseminate widely RJE's scientific and practical results. Actions will be taken for their wider implementation across Europe.
UK Justice Minister Jeremy Wright said: "We know that restorative justice helps victims which is why they deserve better access at any stage of the criminal justice system. that's why we recently introduced proposals allowing for pre-sentence restorative justice, as well as a new action plan to support greater consistency and quality in its delivery. We look forward to seeing the user-led results of this EU-wide IARS project.”