Partners: More than 70 researchers from 21 COST Member States had been actively involved in the Action. The main work has been done within four working groups, which have met on a regular basis during four years.

The co-ordinators of the Working Groups were:

  • Working Group 1 (Evaluative Research): Ida Hydle (
  • Working Group 2 (Policy Oriented Research): Michael Kilchling (
  • Working Group 3 (Theoretical Research): Rob Mackay (
  • Working Group 4 (Restorative Justice, Violent State Conflicts and Mass Victimization): Jana Arsovska (

Duration: 48 months (November 2002-November 2006)

Summary of the project: The main objective of Action A21 was to enhance and to deepen knowledge on theoretical and practical aspects of restorative justice in Europe, with a view to supporting implementation strategies in a scientifically sound way.
In order to reach this general objective, a network of researchers had been created to:

  • Exchange and discuss research needs, methods and results.
  • Co-ordinate research projects in the respective countries as far as possible and desirable.
  • Stimulate or support further (common) research projects.

21 countries were represented in the Action: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Following workshops and conferences were organised in the framework of COST Action A21:

  • 4-5 November 2004, Leuven (Belgium): The Institutionalisation of Restorative Justice in a Changing Society. Please click here to open the scientific report of this workshop.
  • 26 October 2005, Maastricht (the Netherlands): Structuring the Landscape of Restorative Justice Theories. Please click here to open the scientific report of this workshop.
  • 5 March 2006, Tel Aviv (Israel): Contact Hypothesis (Restorative justice and violent international conflicts).
  • 22-24 November 2006, Final Conference in Warsaw (Poland): Restorative Justice Research in Europe: Outcomes and Challenges.

Following books have been published in the framework of COST Action A21:

  • I. Aertsen, T. Daems and L. Robert (eds.) (2006), Institutionalising Restorative Justice, Willan Publishing, 336pp.
  • Aertsen, I., Arsovska, J., Rohne, H.-C., Valiñas, M. and Vanspauwen, K. (eds.), Restoring justice after large-scale violent conflicts: Kosovo, DR Congo and the Israeli-Palestinian case, Cullompton, Willan Publishing, 2008.
  • Mackay, R., Bošnjak, M., Deklerck, J., Pelikan, C., van Stokkom, B. and Wright, M. (eds.), Images of Restorative Justice Theory, Frankfurt am Main, Verlag für Polizeiwissenschaft, 2007
  • Miers, D. and Aertsen, I. (eds.), Regulating Restorative Justice. A comparative study of legislative provision in European countries, Frankfurt am Main, Verlag für Polizeiwissenschaft, 2012.
  • Vanfraechem, I., Aertsen, I. and Willemsens, J. (eds.), Restorative Justice Realities. Empirical research in a European context, The Hague, Eleven International Publishing, 2010.
  • Brian Williams Memorial Volume on the theme of Social Justice, British Journal of Community Justice, Vol. 6, Issue 2, 2008 (Special Issue with 10 contributions offered by the COST Action Working Group on Evaluative Research).

Draft Memorandum of Understanding for the implementation of a European Concerted Research Action designated as COST Action A21 "Restorative Justice Developments in Europe"