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Getting together to resolve conflict

Getting together to resolve conflict

By Karin Derkley

Dispute Resolution 


Victims and perpetrators are increasingly coming together to resolve conflict in cases of family violence, sexual abuse and youth crime, a forum later this month will hear.

The forum on restorative justice will be held at the Law Institute of Victoria on 23 November and will look at how practices, such as group conferencing, allow people affected by a conflict or crime to move forward.

Among the speakers is Victorian Restorative Justice Association president David Moore. He will talk on a proposal to give those who have testified at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse the chance to meet one-on-one with a representative of the institution.

“We’ve found in previous redress schemes that giving people the chance to share their story with someone who can do something about it can play a significant role in lifting the trauma of those people. It can be as important to their recovery as compensation and counselling,” he says.

Also speaking at the forum is ACT Restorative Justice Unit manager Amanda Lutz, who will talk about how group conferencing is being used in family violence cases, particularly where families want to stay together.

Other speakers at the conference are:

  • Genevieve Higgins, of Hume-Moreland Jesuit Social Services, who will speak about restorative practices that are helping re-engage young people with their schools, and hopefully stem the increased rates of school expulsions that is said to be partly to blame for the recent surge in youth detention numbers
  • Jo Howard, executive manager of Kildonan Uniting Care’s Child, Youth & Family Services, who will speak about how group conferencing can help deal with adolescents who abuse their parents in the home by teaching them offender responsibility and accountability for their use of violence.
  • Glen McClure, manager of Community Justice at Jesuit Social Services, who will talk about how he has been taking Victoria’s group conferencing methodology to the Northern Territory to help deal with young offenders there.

The Restorative Practice Forum is open to all those in the justice system and legal profession who are interested in the application of restorative justice. The event is taking place at the LIV Lecture Theatre on Thursday 23 November 2017, 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm. Register here.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by commentators are not necessarily endorsed by the Law Institute of Victoria Ltd (LIV). No responsibility is accepted by the LIV for the accuracy of information contained in the comments and the LIV expressly disclaims any liability for, with respect to or arising from any such views.

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