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Provides articles discussing restorative justice advancements in Asia. Articles appear in the order in which they were added to the site with the most recent appearing first.

Kouvo, Sari and Mazoori, Dallas. Notes from the field: Reconciliation, justice and mobilization of war victims in Afghanistan.
This article traces the early stages of civil society mobilization for transitional justice and recent efforts to establish a network of war victims in Afghanistan. Specifically, it focuses on the development of the Transitional Justice Coordination Group and its victim-centered activities, such as organizing a Victims’ Jirga for Justice in 2010 and a National Victims’ Conference in 2011. It also situates these developments in the context of the broader transitional justice and reconciliation processes occurring in Afghanistan. (author's abstract)
. Revisiting people's mediation in China: practice, performance and challenges.
In China, the term 'people's mediation' generally refers to folk mediation sponsored by people's mediation committees, in which parties to disputes are brought together for conciliation, based on the laws and norms of social morality. The goal of people's mediation is to promote mutual understanding in order to reach voluntary agreements to settle disputes and realise a harmonious society. People's mediation was born of Maoist resistance to feudal Chinese forms of mediation, although it is infused with Confucian values which were initially rejected and only recently revived by the Communist Party. Because of its popularity, this form of mediation has attracted much attention from academics, practitioners and policymakers alike. After exploring its cultural context and historical evolution, this paper revisits existing literature and relevant laws on people's mediation and summarises certain components of people's mediation, including its cultural value, historical origin, legal principles, practices, and challenges. (author's abstract)
Gohar, Ali. Who learns from whom? Pukhtoon traditions in modern perspective.
In the world today there are many concepts, theories, disciplines and terminologies that existed with different names in traditional societies in the past. These traditional communities not only put into practice these concepts and disciplines in their daily lives but also ran their affairs with other tribes and countries based on these concepts and theories. The only thing that makes it difficult for the average person on a grassroots level is the changes in the language and the lack of a record in their native language. (excerpt)
Alkon, Cynthia. The Increased Use of Reconciliation in Criminal Cases in Central Asia: A Sign of Reform or Cause for Concern?
This statement sums up the challenges facing any discussion about mediation or reconciliation of criminal cases in Central Asia. First there is a very different understanding of what sorts of criminal cases might best be brought to alternative processes in lieu of criminal prosecution. Second, the attitudes surrounding victims, defendants, and certain types of crimes start from a very different point than in many western countries... It is this dual difference that those in the international community must confront and understand in evaluating the increased use of alternatives to court proceedings throughout Central Asia, and before embarking on any assistance program to support or encourage its increased use. (excerpt)
Mok, Louis W.Y. and Wong, Dennis S. W.. Restorative Justice and Practices in China.
Restorative justice is developing robustly within the criminal justice system particularly in the field of juvenile justice. With the efforts devoted to policy development and intervention practices, activities at government and community levels suggest that restorative justice is emerging as an increasingly important element in mainstream criminal justice. Though restorative justice initiatives are one of the new initiatives for dealing with offending in many western countries, there has been relatively little experience of actual use of restorative practices in controlling juvenile offending and criminal justice intervention in China. In this paper, we first describe key themes of restorative justice and practices. We then highlight how restorative justice and practices been operated in the present juvenile justice in China. Finally we discuss the way ahead for the development of restorative justice. (Excerpt).
Ngan, Raymond M. H. and Cheng, Christopher H. K. and Ma, Stephen K. and Wong, Dennis S. W.. Program effectiveness of a restorative whole-school approach for tackling school bullying in Hong Kong.
With bullying in schools high on policy makers’ agendas, researchers are looking for effective strategies to tackle its disruptive effects. The present study sets out to address this issue. First, the prevalence of bullying is examined in Hong Kong High Schools, and second, the effectiveness of a Restorative Whole-school Approach (RWsA) in reducing bullying is examined in a quasi-experimental design. The RWsA emphasizes the setting up of restorative goals, clear instructions, team building, and good relationships among students, parents, and teachers. Over the course of 2 years, and across four schools, the effectiveness of this program was observed by comparing an intervention group with a partial intervention group (which did not receive the full treatment) and a control group (which received no treatment whatsoever). The group that received the RWsA treatment exhibited a significant reduction of bullying, higher empathic attitudes, and higher self-esteem in comparison to the partial intervention and the control group. (authors' abstract)
Cheng-Dar Huang and Yu-Shu Chen and Chuen-Jim Sheu. An empirical study on restorative affecting factors for penal mediation -- A restorative justice perspective.
Penal mediation has a long history in Taiwan. It is part of local autonomy administration and has the function of auxiliary justice、restoration、diversion and high acceptance by the public. They are two purposes for this study: to find out whether the penal mediation contains the elements of restorative justice and to find out the affecting factors that could maximize the benefits of penal mediation. Two research methods are used. It interviewed 3 mediation commission chairpersons and 3 mediation commission secretaries. It also surveyed 498 mediation participants. The results of in-depth interview show that interviewees used “social conflict" rather than “crime" to view the mediation case under mediating,and penal mediation contains the elements of restorative justice, diversion, emotional release ,harm reduction and relation rebuilt. It is very important that the mediation members hold an attitude of rationality and fairness in order to achieve mediation agreement. Survey results show that more than 80% percent of the respondents positively responded to procedural satisfaction,result satisfaction ,restoration and identification with the mediation system. In addition, if there are sufficient opportunity for interactive dialogues and conciliation among participants, the mediation results are better. Multiple regression indicates that subjective procedural factors(attitudes toward the mediation commission members), and the objective procedural factors(the meeting was conducted in a circumscribed location, the amount of monetary restitution, the number of times the mediation was conducted and the length of time the meeting was conducted) are the major affecting factors of penal mediation success. It is therefore suggested that mediation meeting which is conducted in a circumscribed location, participants are able to release their emotions, commission members are fair and rational, these factors are able to increase the power and will of participants’ restoration. It is also suggested that interactive dialogues among participants should be encouraged. (authors' abstract)
Chuen-Jim Sheu and Shu-Wen You and Cheng-Sheng Kao and Su-Hui Chang and Ching-Ming Chang and Yu-Shu Chen. A study on the content of Atayal traditional concepts of justice.
Aboriginal literature have shown that aboriginals around the world usually possess particular cultures, and used religion or tribal leaders to peacefully resolve conflicts or crime. Braithwaite (1999) pointed out that, we ought to use restorative justice model first to deal with crime, and then we can reduce the need to use punitive or incapacitation justice model. There are two purposes for this study: to investigate the content of Atayal traditional justice concept and to compare it with other justice models. This study used in-depth interview to collect data. Data were collected from 8 mediators or pastors or Atayal police officials working in Atayal communities. Data analysis indicates that there is no concept of “crime” in the Atayal tradition, instead a “wrong” in used. It is also found that the traditional Atayal justice is deeply influenced by the Atayal belief system of Gaga that there should be social harmony, redemption and pursuit of absolute good in the handling of crime. This study also found that there is no punitive element in Atayal concept of justice. The Atayal traditional concept of justice is partially related to Reparatory Justice and Blood Feud model. However, the Atayal traditional concept of justice is highly related to the Restorative Justice. (authors' abstract).
Restorative Justice for Juveniles and Adults in Thailand
In 2004, Thailand introduced restorative conferencing as a response to juvenile offending. This approach has subsequently been expanded for use in domestic violence cases and with adult offenders through the Department of Probation. In this article, Wanchai Roujanavong, Director General of the Department of Probation, describes the introduction of restorative justice into Thailand, its legislative support, and outcomes to date.
New Juvenile Justice Law in the Philippines
With the signing of the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act 2006 by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the Philippines introduced a new juvenile justice system. Among the many provisions seeking to protect children in conflict with the law, the legislation calls for restorative justice to be an integral part of the new system.
Boonsit, Angkana. Restorative Justice by my experience
Fortunately, the Director-General of the Department of Probation, Dr. Kittipong Kittayarak, is the leading thinker on restorative justice in Thailand. So, there is a master plan of the justice system which supports restorative justice. The vision in this plan is “to develop the justice system by enabling effective use and also enhancing a just and fair, restorative and peaceful society beyond equilibrium between law enforcement and human dignity”. And the mission is “to promote and to develop the justice system and its mechanisms regarding rights/liberty of people, the community and other organizations. The rights of the victim are emphasized for enhancing a vigorous and harmonious society.” (excerpt)
A Restorative Justice Audit of the Chinese Criminal Justice System
The Chinese Criminal Justice System is very different from Western models. While it is often characterized as punitive and retributive, the Chinese system does involve some restorative elements. Xinzhou Zhang, a Chinese police officer, prepared this audit while earning his Msc in Criminal Justice and Public Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Restorative Justice in Thailand: Lessons Learned
The Thai government began experimenting with restorative practices in 2003 with the implementation of family group conferences for juvenile offenders. In 2004, the probation services began a pilot project using restorative justice in 11 probation offices. Angkana Boonsit from the Thai probation Department shares her experiences and lessons learned in implementing restorative justice in Thai cultural setting. This speech was originally given at the at the ‘Restorative Justice in Emerging Countries’ ancillary session at the 11th United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.
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.
Responding to Juvenile Crime in Thailand
Families and victims to get their say and Families are to get rehab role are two headlines appearing in the Bangkok Post in June. The articles refer to an announcement by the Juvenile Observation and Protection Department of its plans to institute family group conferencing with juvenile offenders beginning July 1. The Department hopes to lower the number of juveniles held in detention centres through this programme.
Developing Holistic Approaches in Singapore.
Joseph Ozawa is the Senior Director of the Family and Juvenile Justice Centre (FJJC) of the Subordinate Courts of Singapore. He is active in FJJC’s development of restorative and holistic practices. In this article, he describes three programs now in use in Singapore and relates how the format is important in the Asian context.
Japan and Restorative Practices
The emphasis on apology and forgiveness in Japanese society has led many commentators, such as John O. Haley, to point to Japan as an example of how restorative justice can affect crime and society. Despite this prominence of apology and forgiveness in explaining lower crime rates in Japan, these mechanisms have remained informal and tend to be offender focused. Recent activities seek to change this reality.
Peacemaking in Indonesia
In 1999, Duane Ruth-Heffelbower took a leave of absence from his graduate faculty position at Fresno Pacific University’s Center for Peacemaking and Conflict Studies to accept an invitation to join the faculty of Duta Wacana Christian University (UKDW) in Yogyakarta, Indonesia under an appointment from the Mennonite Central Committee.

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