June 2004 Edition
Juvenile Justice in Namibia: Law Reform Towards Reconciliation and Restorative Justice.
Namibia is in the process of creating a juvenile justice system that will be more responsive to the needs of children in conflict with the law and more in line with international standards. To this end, the Child Justice Bill was drafted in 2003, reflecting the ideas of ubuntu, an African understanding that an individual’s humanity is wrapped up in the dignity and humanity of others. Currently, the Bill is being modified by the Ministry of Justice and is scheduled to be presented to in Parliament this year. Marthinus Hamutenya of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Child Justice in Namibia analyzes the bill.
Using Appreciative Inquiry in Parent/Teen Mediation
Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is a communication and problem-solving process that attempts to bring all voices to the table in conflict or change situations. With a focus on positives, the process looks for common ground to find solutions and build foundations for better communication. Because of its holistic nature, AI is seen by some as useful in restorative processes and in enabling organizations to become more restorative. In this article, Judy Larkins of Colorado Mediators & Arbitrators provides a description of AI and its use in family mediation.
Using Traditional Practices to Improve the Justice System
Indigenous justice practices and philosophies have been important in the development of restorative justice processes such as conferencing and circles. Increasingly, governments, development agencies, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are realizing the potential of such traditional practices to meet the justice needs of marginalized populations, resolve issues of court backlogs, and to enable communities to own and resolve their own conflicts. In the Philippines, such problems are being resolved by enhancing traditional systems. Based on the use of mediation and conciliation by local elected leaders, the Barangay Justice System (BJS) is the focus of an NGO effort to provide access to justice and empower communities to participate in justice reform.
Website of the Month: Community Justice Exchange
The Community Justice Exchange is a project of the Center for Court Innovation in New York and provides information and assistance to community justice planners across the United States. The website includes information of interest to newcomers as well as those involved in community justice programming.
Book Review: Kids Working it Out: Stories and Strategies for Making Peace in Schools.
Greg Strong reviews Kids Working it Out, which provides an overview of resources in conflict resolution education for parents, educators, and policymakers looking for ways to help young people learn constructive responses to conflict, build positive relationships, and promote just societies.
Recent Changes to Restorative Justice Online