Since the early 60’s, before, during and post- conflict, many people and small groups from diverse social, cultural, religious and secular backgrounds have worked to promote a more fair and reconciled society here, one which nourishes new strength and restores a vigor to new, more open relationships, structures and institutions. Restorative Justice in Northern Ireland, as a concept and as a way of working, contributed to the wider inclusion of a wider range of citizens and identities in the Peace Process in NI than could have been previously imagined. The formal development of RJ as a community led approach within NI from 1994 on has been an, eventually, creative tension between how new community based initiatives and traditional state practices and institutions have navigated one another and negotiated a new, more restorative platform, to the benefit of all.The gift of a wider informed citizen and community base that is more open to restorative practices has had political significance and contributed directly to groups who have been previously marginalised and ‘beyond the pale’ coming into, and infusing, the process. These developments have been essential to securing an agreed, locally devolved, policing and criminal justice system, as one of the last jig-saw pieces in the 1998 political agreement.And yet, in a society where our common history has often, with some notable exceptions, been to be ambivalent about violence and participate, too readily, in silent or direct support for those willing to be violent to ‘different others’, we cannot too quickly present ourselves and this society as being ‘restorative models par excellence’. The fourth paragraph of the 1998 Belfast Agreement is a continuing challenge to all parties.4. We reaffirm our total and absolute commitment to exclusively democratic and peaceful means of resolving differences on political issues, and our opposition to any use or threat of force by others for any political purpose, whether in regard to this agreement or otherwise.In essence, when there is a restorative encounter, the participants experience something of what it means to be in a new, more open experience of community, a place where each is, in a sense, responsible for the safety and security of the other and not just themselves. Such an experience is a fundamental building block this society needs, emerging from conflict. Those people who facilitate and participate in such quality experiences, when they occur, become potential carriers of new models on which a more restorative society culture can be promoted and built. This applies whether they have been involved in: conferences associated with the juvenile justice system, in family group conferences, in restorative school cultures, in residential care, in prison; in mediations associated with civil society groups, in the often painful meetings of victims and survivors of the conflict, in meetings between those who were previously opposed, in new community / police partnerships or in innovative, more inclusive, youth work practices, to name only some. If we are to move on beyond conflict, and address our inability to deal with our common violent and excluding past, such experiences need multiplied.If Restorative Practices are promoted, and eventually embedded, in diverse relational and structural practices associated with public, private and civil society organisations within the society we will become a more healed and cohesive society. It is important that this practice is promoted through policies and the practical actions of people within: civic, trade union, women’s groups, men’s groups and sporting groups; the cultures of faith, business, educational and welfare organisations; the practices of local councils, housing and health authorities serving the needs of citizens; and the curricula, practices and relational atmospheres of our special, primary, secondary, further and higher educational communities.Everywhere the sometimes-restrictive interpretations of restorative justice by professionals and their agency cultures can work against a wider civic embrace of the restorative concept. We need a societal space where citizens are more empowered in restorative ideas and practices as pupils, students, parents, residents and where agencies engage more restoratively with civil society, the business community, trade unions and public agencies. Restorative Practices are practices that have a meaning and significance outside the CJ system in terms of healing relationships and nurturing new life and possibilities in existing, and new, structures and institutions. Becoming a more restorative society?Some challenges now are that the umbrella terms of ‘community’ or ‘communities’ often used in public policy, as well as in service delivery by public and community agencies, can be too quickly equated with the historically competing identity communities here. As such, they may dilute movements to develop a ‘shared society’, a more inclusive future society of diverse citizens.
|Title of host publication||Unknown Host Publication|
|Place of Publication||Belfast|
|Number of pages||11|
|Publication status||Published - 12 Jun 2014|
|Event||Beyond Crime-Desistance, Social Justice and Peace Building - The Titanic Centre, Belfast|
Duration: 12 Jun 2014 → …
|Conference||Beyond Crime-Desistance, Social Justice and Peace Building|
|Period||12/06/14 → …|
Bibliographical noteReference text: See Restorative Practices in Northern Ireland: A Mapping Exercise, Brian Payne, Vicky Conway, Colleen Bell, Alexis Falk,Helen Flynn, Conor McNeil and Fiona Rice. School of Law, Queen’s University Belfast, 2010
The signing of the Good Friday Agreement in April 1998 and its subsequent endorsement by referendum in Northern Ireland and in the Irish Republic, delivered a political solution to the previously intractable problems that had blighted the province (Monaghan, 2008). Central to these problems had been the contested nature of the criminal justice system, in particular the police, who at this point were unable to effectively police certain communities (McEvoy & Mika, 2001) …
Central to the (1998) Agreement, as specifically detailed in Section 6, was a commitment to bridge the gap between the state and communities in Northern Ireland. Measures included supporting: “the development of special community-based initiatives based on international best practice”, and recognising the need to give support to both community and statutory-based programmes (Good Friday Agreement 1998: 7.12)
The Justice (NI) Act, 2002 outlined a new approach to youth justice incorporating youth conferencing at which the victim and victim’s supporters (or victim representatives) are brought together with the offender and offender’s supporters in a structured meeting facilitated by professionals. (McEvoy & Eriksson, 2008). From Restorative Practices in Northern Ireland: A Mapping Exercise, Brian Payne, Vicky Conway, Colleen Bell, Alexis Falk, Helen Flynn, Conor McNeil and Fiona Rice. School of Law, Queen’s University Belfast, 2010 See http://www.quakerservice.com/Mapping-Report-Restorative-Practices-in-Northern-Ireland-Nov-2010.pdf
Zehr in Weitekamp, Journey to Belonging Chap 2, pp 21-12 introduces three restorative levels of the restorative process with victims being characterised by the the movement from: Structures of disorder to order; Relationships that are disconnected to a sense of connectedness; Voices that are disempowered to empowered.
Wilson, D. A, 2012 http://eprints.ulster.ac.uk/22704/1/Keynote_Conference_Speech_Dun_Laoghaire_Norfolk_Comenius_Regio_D_A_Wilson_May_2012.pdf
Eyben, K et al (2002) The Equity, Diversity and Interdependence Framework: A Framework for Organisational Learning and Change. University of Ulster. 112 pp ISBN 1-85923-160-8 http://www.ulster.ac.uk/staff/da.wilson.html
This strand is the new drive towards societal transformation-a theme that is emerging in papers by Christie (2012), Fattah (2012), Wright (2010), Wilson (2009, 2010), Johnston (2008), Maxwell & Liu, (2007) Strang & Braithwaite (2001), among others.
Organisations such as CRJI, with its roots in the Republican movement and community activism, itself outside the existing CJ System, and later Alternatives, with its roots in the Loyalist tradition and local community activism and, at that time, due to its pro-British history positioning itself in, an often uneasy, proximity to the existing policing and the CJ system. Other loyalist and republican groups later explored this practice in varying degrees, based on the experiences of the groups above.
Mika, H., & McEvoy, K. 2001, “Restorative Justice in Conflict: Paramilitarism, Community and the Construction of Legitimacy in Northern Ireland”, 3(4) Contemporary Justice Review, pp. 291-319.
Dignan, J. & Lowey, K. (2000) Restorative Justice Options for Northern Ireland: A Comparative Review, NIO Stationary Office, Belfast.
Central to the (1998) Agreement, as specifically detailed in Section 6, was a commitment to bridge the gap between the state and communities in Northern Ireland. Measures included supporting: “the development of special community-based initiatives based on international best practice”, and recognising the need to give support to both community and statutory-based programmes (Good Friday Agreement 1998: 7.12) (McEvoy & Eriksson, 2008). From Restorative Practices in Northern Ireland: A Mapping Exercise, QUB, 2010.
See Youth Justice Agency reports for 2006 and other years http://www.youthjusticeagencyni.gov.uk/document_uploads/NI_Youth_Reoffending_Stats_from_the_2006_Cohort.pdf
See page 18, From Restorative Practices in Northern Ireland: A Mapping Exercise, Brian Payne, Vicky Conway, Colleen Bell, Alexis Falk, Helen Flynn, Conor McNeil and Fiona Rice. School of Law, Queen’s University Belfast, 2010
‘In May2007 the Criminal Justice Inspectorate recommended NI Alternatives be accredited by the government. Kit Chivers, Head of the Inspectorate, indicated that he was impressed by the ‘high standard of professionalism and dedication’ of the staff, and that record keeping, training and child protection policies were of a good standard (Criminal Justice Inspectorate, 2007). CRJI did not receive such accreditation until 2009, until Sinn Féin expressed support for the PSNI and full co-operation with the police began (Criminal Justice Inspectorate, 2009)’.
Frank Wright (1994) Two Lands on One Soil: Ulster Politics before Home Rule, Dublin: Gill & Macmillan
Frank Wright (1987) Northern Ireland: a comparative analysis, Dublin; London: Gill and Macmillan
Paul Nolan, NCRC, Rowntree Foundation and J Rowntree Charitable Trust http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/events/peace/docs/nipmr_2014-03_1-Intro.pdf.
The Long View of Community Relations in Northern Ireland: 1989-2012 Duncan Morrow, Gillian Robinson and Lizanne Dowds http://www.ark.ac.uk/publications/updates/update87.pdf
The Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA) called for wide-ranging reforms: it demanded equal voting rights in local government elections; a fairer system for the allocation of public housing; an end to 'gerrymandering' (the manipulation of electoral boundaries to give one community an electoral advantage); an end to discrimination in employment; the disbandment of the 'B-Specials' (an all-Protestant auxiliary police force); and the repeal of the Special Powers Act (which allowed for internment of suspects without trial). See http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/events/day_troubles_began
There were many local, regional and international engagements through adult education providers. Examples of this strand are: projects associated with the Belfast Interface Projects; Programme between Springvale and Woodvale; the work of local Further Education Colleges expanding to embrace community development approaches, the Trade Union Movement Educational Initiatives; The Dutch Northern Irish Committee, The Grubb Institute;
Chap 4.1 Education, Conflict and Community Development in The Community Development Reader edited by Craig, Mayo, Popple, Shaw & Taylor, The Policy Press, 2011
Philanthropic Charities Represented by The UK Charitable Trust Administrators Group; The Ireland Funds AND Atlantic Philanthropies; The International Fund for Ireland And The European Union Peace Programmes.
The extraordinary story of the Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition is one of do-it-yourself politics. Founded in 1996 as a result of frustration with the sterility of local politics, the NIWC (had) a broad cross-community base, attracting women (and men) from the nationalist and unionist communities, and from both republican and loyalist traditions. Women's Work The Story of the Northern Ireland Women's Coalition by Kate Fearon (1999) ISBN 0 85640 653 8 (Paperback) 184pp Blackstaff Press
See www.The Consultative Group on the Past at http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/victims/docs/consultative_group/cgp_230109_report.pdf
Faith & Politics Group Papers available at: http://www.faithandpoliticsgroup.com/content/21/Publications/
Irish School of Ecumenics http://www.tcd.ie/ise/
Pavlich explores how community might be welcoming, future focussed, inclusive, equitable, fair and just and contrasts this with other concepts of community that ‘worship’ community as being more fixed, judgemental, backward looking and excluding. See Pavlich, G., (2001), The force of community. In Restorative Justice and Civil Society, eds. Strang and Braithwaite. Cambridge: CUP.
See Michael Sandel’s discussion on ‘communities of association and communities of entanglement. Sandel argues that modern society has become more a space ‘associated with entanglement than association’, where the absence of a lived and experienced vision and aspiration together, in a very commodified world, potentially sets many people more and more apart and against. When the ‘familiar turns strange’ (Sandel) tensions emerge that are essential to engage and embrace. To engage and meet those different to us by culture and belief and so build a more open and challenging discussion is how, eventually, the common good might be developed.
As examples refer to: Braithwaite, V., 2003; Cameron, L. & Thorsborne, L. 1999; Cremin et al, 2013; Drewery, W. 2004; Flanagan, H., 2010; Hendry, R. 2009; Hopkins, B. 2004; Kecskemeti, 2011; McCluskey at al, 2008, Campbell, Chapman & Wilson, 2013. See also resources at: http://www.educ.cam.ac.uk/research/projects/restorativeapproaches/
See Norfolk Council; Christchurch NZ as some of multiple examples.
- Restorative Justice
- Restorative Society
- Shared Society