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New pan-European restorative justice project launched at the Ministry of Justice

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

On 13 December the new pan-European project for safeguarding victims was launched by Jeremy Wright MP, DSCF2972.JPGJustice Minister and Dr Theo Gavrielides, founder and director of IARS.

The launch, held at the Ministry of Justice, featured presentations from the minister and partners from the UK, Greece, Bulgaria, Germany and the Netherlands on their role in the project. It was a fantastic opportunity for everyone involved to get to know each other, for people to learn about the project and for the Ministry of Justice to endorse it.

Dr Gavrielides highlighted the “importance and timeliness of the project as restorative justice is being looked at not just from the UK but from countries across the world as an alternative process that can work with the criminal justice system.”

DSCF2969.JPGSpeaking about the gaps in UK restorative practice, Jeremy Wright stressed that “victims must be able to have access to restorative justice when they want it and when they are ready for it”.  Promoting the user-led approach that the new project will employ, he then stated that the process needs to “come from the bottom up, an opportunity for victims and for offenders to do things in the way that suits them best”.

This was well received, with Dr Gavrielides delighted to “see support from the top and development of infrastructure to see communities empowered to deliver restorative justice”.

In closing, Dr Gavrielides underlined the power of local-level knowledge within restorative justice and that “our role as academics working with and informing government is bringing those voices and hearing them”.DSCF2998.JPG

The full speeches by Dr Gavrielides and Jeremy Wright MP are available below. Key updates to the project will also be made accessible to the public at the new restorative justice website, RJ4All.