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Restorative Justice

MEDIA RELEASE
19 November 2003

Restorative Justice

Three years on there are many wounds to heal after the political upheavals of 2000. Many hurt people are still seeking justice, answers & space to heal. While the legal justice system is taking its course, ECREA believes that meaningful restorative justice has a role to play.

Participants from Government, Security forces, Churches, NGOs and other civil society organisations have spent the last two weeks attending a Restorative Justice & Mediation Skills workshop & training at Bergengran House, Suva organised by ECREA.

“The events of 2000 and the cry for justice from those affected mean that restorative justice could have a role to play in the ongoing peace building within Fiji”, said Koila Costello Olsson from ECREA’s Gender & Peace Programme. “Restorative justice is a process to involve those who have a stake in a specific offence to collectively, identify and address harms, needs and obligations in order to heal and put things as right as possible”.

The aim of the workshop & training is to expose people involved in justice issues within Fiji to the restorative justice model and to develop an application of a restorative approach in their own spheres of influence. Mediation & conflict transformation skills are a vital component in any conflict situation and participants gained exposure to the necessary mediation skills that are required when one is a third party in a conflict.

The workshop & training has been funded by AusAID and UNIFEM Pacific and led by Vicki Sanderford-O’Connor of Clariquest Consultancy who has a Masters of Arts in Conflict Transformation & Restorative Justice from the Conflict Transformation Programme, Eastern Mennonite University, Virginia USA and Jean Handley founder & Director of Turning Point Partners, a NGO working to influence the judicial, prison & education systems to a restorative model in New Orleans, Louisiana USA.

An ECREA representative will close the workshop on Friday 21 November at 3.00pm. The media are invited to join us for the closing & afternoon tea.
Friday 21 November 2003, 3pm, Bergengran House, Pender Street, Suva.


Enquiries to Libby Cass 3307 588 or info@ecrea.org.fj

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