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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.

Alkon, Cynthia. The Increased use of "reconciliation" in criminal cases in Central Asia: A sign of restorative justice, reform or cause for concern?
... - Lawyer in Kyrgyzstan discussing reconciliation of rape cases. ... " Other authors define "restorative justice [as] seeking to balance the concerns of the victim and the community with the need to re-integrate the offender into society. ... " Restorative justice processes include victim offender mediation, family group conferencing, peacemaking circles, community reparative boards, and victim impact panels. ... Parties in the United States most frequently use victim offender mediation, increasingly known as restorative justice conferencing. ... Support persons exist both for the victim and the offender in western restorative justice process. ... In addition, Uzbekistan does not specify what categories of crimes the criminal justice system may send to reconciliation. ... As in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, the parties, investigators, prosecutors, and judges may start the reconciliation process. ... Often cases go to reconciliation when the investigator (who is frequently the intermediary) thinks that the victim will not want to proceed with the prosecution or will not be a reliable witness. ... Until the criminal justice system better protects victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, and until criminal justice professionals understand and take these crimes more seriously, these cases should not go to reconciliation. ... (Authors Abstract).
Johnson, David T.. Crime and punishment in contemporary Japan.
Although many people believe that Japanese crime rates have increased rapidly, they have not. Japan's homicide rates are the lowest in the world and are lower than at any time since World War II. An apparent increase in robbery rates results primarily from changes in police reporting practices. Except for bicycle theft, theft rates are the lowest in the industrialized world and lower than fifteen years ago. Nonetheless, Japan's penal policy has become more severe and less focused on rehabilitation. The contexts and causes of this get-tough shift include a greater sense of public insecurity, economic and social disruption, increased anxieties about foreigners, politicians' emphasis on law and order, and a series of police scandals and notorious crimes. It appears that the long-held "safety myth" about Japanese society is collapsing like a house of cards. (Japan Times, December 10, 2005) Since When Are Water and Safety in Japan No Longer Free? (Title of Motohiko Izawa's [2002] book) (Authors Abstract).
Chen, Eirene and Jalalzada, Mariam. Gender and Community Peacebuilding in Rural Afghanistan.
This paper examines prevailing cultural attitudes towards Afghan women as peacebuilders and explores the impact that an innovative UNHCR-sponsored refugee reintegration program has had on gender dynamics in several rural Afghan communities divided by a history of violent conflict. The program integrates intercommunal reconciliation activities with joint income-generation projects, in an effort to restore trust and strengthen economic capacity. The authors discuss how implementation methodologies have affected the lives of the women who participated in the program as community peace mobilizers. They also propose culturally sustainable strategies to facilitate gender equality in rural communities. (Author's abstract)
Chang, Won Kyung. "Imagining Restorative Justice in East Asia: Notes on the Korean Criminal Justice System"
The most distinctive feature of restorative justice is its use of a victim-centered response to crime with the goal of successful reintegration of both victim and offender as productive community members. In Confucian East Asia, reciprocity, mutuality, and harmony have been stressed as essential concepts of successful community life. These concepts are at the heart of restorative justice initiatives. This paper examines the developments of the restorative justice programs in New Zealand, Australia, and other Western countries. It then probes the ways in which such programs can be implemented in East Asian context. Special attention will be paid to the Korean traditional ideas similar to restorative justice and considers appropriate ways to adapt these ideas to restorative justice programs in contemporary Korea. (author's abstract)
Yan’an Shi. On restorative justice practiced in China: Status, challenge and future of the victim-offender reconciliation system.
he victim-offender reconciliation (VOR), practiced by the basic public security, procuratorates and courts since the advent of 21st century, is a new mode different from the mediation or conciliation in the procedure of civil litigation or of that accessory to the public prosecution in criminal proceeding. This mode connects the criminal justice with the mediation or private reconciliation by themselves. Thus, non-official settlement can influence the criminal justice and the decisions of authoritative agencies. It is beneficial to restore the victim’s interests, urge the offender to repent for his wrongdoings, compensate for the victim’s loss and restore the damaged social relationship. The VOR in China is the same in essence as the Western restorative justice, so it could be regarded as a Chinese mode of global restorative justice movement. Though the VOR mechanism works well, it still brings some matter in further consideration: (a) the legitimacy of VOR; (b) the conflict against the basic concept of crime; (c) the effect to the social reality. (author's abstract)
Barnes, Bruce E. Conflict resolution education in the Asian Pacific.
Conflict Resolution Education (CRE) is taking hold in the Oceania-Island Pacific-East Asia and Southeast Asia region. This article highlights several promising programs from New Zealand-Aotearoa, Singapore, Hong Kong, Fiji, and Australia. Peer mediation programs range from the Cool Schools programs present in more than half of all the schools in New Zealand to newer programs in Singapore. Restorative justice programs are operating in New Zealand, Australia, and Hong Kong. International efforts in both CR and CRE by universities in the region are discussed, highlighting regional centers in South Australia (uniSA) and Queensland (ACPACS).(author's abstract)
Saade, Marta Vides. Restorative Justice, Empowerment Theory, and Transformative Spirituality: Searching for Authentic Strategies in China, Hong Kong, India, and Korea
"When writing about restorative justice, the epistemic location of both writer and reader are important to consider in order preserve the transformational potential of restorative justice in its thickest description. In Spanish we say there are two ways to know: saber, to know intellectually and conocer, to know in your heart. As a person of the North, a lawyer and Roman Catholic ethicist living in the United States of America, and as a person of the South, a Nahuatl danzante equally rooted in Cuscatlan - the country known as El Salvador after European contact - formed by stories of ancestors who migrated there from Europe and Palestine, I know that the threads of authentic spiritual sustenance and empowerment for a person can weave a complicated tapestry. This modest essay is my granito de arena (grain of sand) added to the conversation about restorative justice, empowerment, and spirituality." (Abstract)
Austin, Timothy. "Unexpected Dimensions of Informal Social Control: A View from the Philippine Sitio"
This article amplifies the finding that a number of situational variables surprisingly augment the time-honored tradition of amicable settlement among Fillipinos. Earlier reports emphasized cultural and personality patterns as a foundation of a preference of informal mediation of disputes and an avoidance of government agencies of control. Contemporary features, which include distinct political boundaries, unmemployment, communication disability in a low tech society,and the desire for bribery, among others, also appear to emerge as potentially meaningful variables. The findings allow for the construction of a number of prepositions that predict how the situation impacts on informal social control. Field research in the relatively volatile area of northwest Mindanao, especially in isolated villages (sitios), suggest a need for further clarification.
Miyazawa, Setsuo. "The politics of increasing punitiveness and the rising populism in Japanese criminal justice policy"
The purpose of this article is (1) to establish that increasing punitiveness characterizes criminal justice policies in Japan and (2) to explain this trend in terms of the penal populism promoted by crime victims and supporting politicians. This article first examines newspaper articles to illuminate the increasingly punitive character of recent criminal justice policies in Japan in terms of both legislation and judicial decisions. The next section discusses the main contributing factors behind this trend and its public acceptance. The next two sections discuss two related issues: the public’s subjective sense of security, and the lack of a role for empirical criminologists in criminal justice policy making in Japan. The concluding section compares the Japanese and Anglo-American situations and argues that the same penal populism seen in Anglo- American countries is rapidly rising in Japan, and that public distrust of government has ironically increased the state’s investigative, prosecutorial, and sentencing powers in Japan. This article closes with the conjecture that police, prosecutors, and judges are unlikely to relinquish their increased power in the event that they gain the public’s trust and equally unlikely in the event of a change of the ruling party.
Keenapan, Nattha. Restorative justice.
Wit’s case was diverted to the Family and Community Group Conferencing (FCGC), a “child-friendly” government programme that deals with children who have committed minor crimes. In addition to diverting children away from the formal system, it seeks to restore social harmony between the victim and child offender as well as within the community at large. (excerpt)
Klosky, Tricia and Kethineni, Sesha. "Juvenile Justice and Due Process Rights of Children in India and the United States"
This article offers a cross-cultural comparison of current and past juvenile court systems in India and the United States. Issues such as juvenile court development, differences and similarities in juvenile court philosophies, and the impact of legislative reforms are explored within political, social, and legal contexts. Specifically, the juvenile justice system in India is examined and analyzed within the context of how changes in philosophy and terminology have affected juvenile court practices and procedures. Our conclusion is that in both countries the juvenile justice system often fails to achieve the rehabilitative agendas set forth by their legislative and child welfare bodies.
Liu, Jianhong. "Predicting Recidivism in a Communitarian Society: China"
Abstract: Research on the prediction of recidivism has largely been an enterprise of Western criminology. Therefore, the identification and selection of predictors has tended to follow the individualistic traditions of theWest. Important advances in models and methods have not been extended to non-Western societies such as China. This article explores the implications of communitarian features of Chinese urban communities for prediction of recidivism. The article applies the perspective of social capital to the specification of predictors. Available community social-capital measures are included in the prediction model to capture the effects of communitarian cultural features. The results indicate that social capital variables generally have significant effects.
Broadhurst, Roderic G. and Zhong, Lena Y.. "Building Little Safe and Civilized Communities: Community Crime Prevention With Chinese Characteristics?"
This article describes a community crime prevention program in China, set against a background of rapid economic development, large internal population migration, and increasing crime rates. Traditional social control in China has been transformed to adapt to the new reform era, yet some mechanisms remain intact. Crime prevention measures and strategies resemble those adopted in the West; however, the differences, constituting the so-called Chinese characteristics with community crime prevention are significant.
Sreekumar, R. . Restorative Justice practices in India: some glimpses.
Realisation of mistake, admittance of guilt and forgiveness are some of the essential requirements of restorative justice. The present Indian criminal justice system – a hangover of the colonial times – hardly bears any semblance to instances of restorative justice or forgiveness of the ancient times or the modern ones outside the formal system. This article summarises a few such instances. (excerpt)
. Responding to everyday rape in Cambodia: rhetorics, realities and somroh somruel
This paper analyses a dilemma for victims of 'everyday rape' in Cambodia: their community's preferred response is somroh somruel, a customary dispute resolution process, but pressure is exerted by the state and by international and local NGOs to use the criminal justice system, which is corrupt and inaccessible to all but an elite. Drawing from interviews with NGO staff and field research by NGOs, we find a clash between human rights rhetoric and the realities faced by rape victims and their families. Human rights and other western donor organisations need to consider multiple meanings of justice, particularly in rural areas in countries like Cambodia, where 'justice' situates morality within the restoration of social harmony and the repair of aggrieved relationships. Greater attention should be given to supporting and improving somroh somruel, alongside developing more accessible and accountable conventional criminal justice responses. (author's abstract)
Morris, Allison and Maxwell, Gabrielle and Hayes, Hennessey. Conferencing and Restorative Justice
Family group conferences in the New Zealand youth justice system have been the centre of international interest since they were introduced there in 1989, and they have since been imitated by a number of countries. Enabling legislation for juvenile offenders has been passed in New Zealand, Australia, England and Wales, Canada, Ireland, and Singapore. Also in New Zealand, legislation has been passed for adult offenders. Various versions of conferencing for young offenders have been introduced in Belgium, Hong Kong, Japan, the Netherlands, South Africa, Sweden, and the United States. More recently, new initiatives have been taken to introduce restorative conferencing in Brazil and Argentina for both adults and young people. In this chapter, we describe restorative justice conferencing for juveniles with a particular emphasis on New Zealand and Australia and assess the extent to which it can be said to reflect restorative justice processes and to result in restorative justice outcomes using research chiefly drawn from Australasia and North America. In addition, we examine data on the extent to which conferencing can reduce re-offending. But first, we discuss the development of restorative justice conferencing. (excerpt)
Schärf, Wilfred. The Challenges Facing Non-State Justice Systems in Southern Africa: How do, and How Should Governments Respond?
The structure of this paper starts, Firstly with an examination of the terminology used over the last 50 years when talking about non-state justice. I try to show that it is not all semantics but that the names take on particular ideological baggage, depending on whether the form of non-state justice is pro-state or anti-state. It also depends on who is talking, a person in a liberation struggle or someone opposing that liberation. This is to contextualize what we nowadays use quite loosely, terms such as restorative justice and traditional justice. Secondly, I will explore the different forms that non-state justice takes in the six countries under scrutiny as well as examples from India, Bangladesh, the Phillipines and Latin America. The state's responses to these phenomena will then be sketched followed by recommendations about how states, development-donors and citizens could contribute to better governance and more effective co-operation between different forms of non-states justice and the state. Thirdly I will share some of the developments in the SA Law Commission project group on Community Dispute Resolution Structures (CDRS).
Philpott, Daniel. The Politics of Past Evil: Religion, Reconciliation, and the Dilemmas of Transitional Justice
What unfolds in the following pages, then, is a conversation about how theology and politics are related in the theory and practice of reconciliation, situated in the context of transitional states. What place does reconciliation have in the politics of transition? What are the warrants for it? Four theorists, two theologians and two philosophers draw explicitly from theological perspectives in answering these questions. The answers are fresh angles in today’s debate. Our conversation, though, also recognizes that reconciliation’s credibility as an approach to politics depends not only on a theoretical foundation but also on an account of its place in the tug and haul of actual political transition. Two political scientists and a historian, all sympathetic to the theological perspectives, then chart the path of reconciliation, sometimes torturous, sometimes propitious, in South Africa, Northern Ireland, Argentina, and Germany. The divide between the two sorts of inquiry is not neat. The theorists are cognizant of contemporary political transitions; the empirically oriented scholars are theoretically conscious. Explicating theological warrants, mapping the texture of actual political transitions, echoing debates within these transitions, our conversation addresses a wide variety of interlocutors, both scholarly and generalist, both with and without theological commitments. (excerpt)
Wing Lo, T and Wong, Dennis and Maxwell, Gabrielle. Diversion From Youth Courts in Five Asia Pacific Jurisdictions: Welfare or Restorative Solutions
This article examines how juvenile offenders are diverted from prosecution in juvenile courts in five Asia Pacific jurisdictions: Queensland, Australia; New Zealand; Hong Kong; Singapore; and China. In all of these jurisdictions, there has been a trend away from punitive and retributive approaches to the diversion of juvenile offenders from prosecution in a court to the community-based welfare model and the restorative model. The community-based welfare model relies primarily on counseling, community support, and educational assistance and is usually led by professionals. This model tends to categorize juvenile offenders as having problem behaviors and emotional conditions that require treatment and supervision. The restorative model emphasizes the accountability of juvenile offenders for the harms their behavior caused and uses negotiation among the youth, their victims, and the youth's family to develop measures for repairing the harm done and addressing the youth's behaviors that caused the harm. This model limits the involvement of professionals in decisionmaking about the disposition of the case. New Zealand and Queensland use the restorative model. Criticisms of this model have included the lack of due process and protections for the rights of offenders, as well as the potential for undue influence by the police. Hong Kong and Singapore have adopted a traditional rehabilitation and welfare orientation whereby police divert juveniles from the courts through police cautions and referrals to community support and guidance services operated by social workers. In China, community-based practices such as police cautions, mediation, and educational assistance are used in diverting youth from court-based processing. Community-based sanctions are particularly susceptible to the influence of personal power and persuasion, and outcomes may favor those who have close affiliations with or hold powerful positions in the government. Abstract courtesy of the National Criminal Justice Reference Service,
Sugama,Terence. Reconciling the Past: Japan's Wartime Atrocities and the Legacies of Post-War Narrative Tensions between Japan, China and South Korea
This thesis will examine the role of narrative in shaping the Japanese account of its war past in the lead-up and throughout the Second World War and, specifically, Japanese atrocities and aggression directed against China, Korea and its nationals. It will argue that Japan has thus far been unable to definitely resolve those tensions within Japanese society and without, from the victims of atrocity in the People’s Republic of China (China) and the Republic of Korea (South Korea) in forming a coherent wartime narrative that remembers both the horror of war for the Japanese and acknowledges the suffering of their victims. Further, this thesis contends that a meaningful engagement in acts of reconciliation, a tool of restorative justice, between Japan and victims in China and South Korea is both desirable and necessary in alleviating those tensions.

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