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Criminal Justice Reform in a Transitional Context: Restorative Youth Conferencing in Northern Ireland

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This article examines the incorporation of restorative principles and practices within reforms of Northern Ireland’s youth justice system, adopted following the peace process. It considers whether restorative justice principles can be successfully incorporated into criminal justice reform as part of a process of transitional justice. The article argues that restorative justice principles, when brought within criminal justice, can contribute to the broader process of transitional justice and peace building, particularly in societies where the police and criminal justice system have been entwined in the conflict. In these contexts restorative justice within criminal justice can help civil society to take a stake in the administration and delivery of criminal justice, it can help break down hostility and animosity towards criminal justice and contribute to the development of social justice and civic agency, so enabling civil society to move forward in a transitional environment.

Affiliations: 1: Durham Law School, UK


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