Writing on the wall in Belfast

The Restorative Blog

We use this online space within our website to share reflections, interviews, articles and other materials from the field of restorative justice: a kind of blog. All the articles curated by the Editorial Committee are be published here. This space keeps up to spirit of our Newsletters, yet it is updated more often and it allows a  more responsive communication about issues that matter.  As a member you receive a collection of the articles published here in your inbox three times a year: The EFRJ Newsletter. 
The collection of all of our earlier Newsletters is available on our website. 


Get ready for Tallinn! Learn more about the role of a restorative justice organisation during a war: the Ukrainian Institute for Peace and Common Ground and its Head of the Board, Alona Horova.

Get prepared for Tallinn! Get to know the background of a few key people from Estonia working on the organisation of the 12th International Conference of the EFRJ. 

In his reflections, Christian Gade responds to the articles of Ivo Aertsen, Jacques Claessen, Bas van Stokkom, Vincent Geeraets, and the Editroial of Kim Magiera (EFRJ Newsletter Volume 25, Issue 1). He discusses the type of consequentialism he advocated by, and why he argues for a broad definition of ‘punishment’ that permits a reconceptualisation of restorative justice as a form of punishment.

Vincent Geeraets' thought-provoking analysis dissecting the prevalent consequentialist viewpoint in restorative justice contributing to discussion about its relations to punishment.  

How can the concept of punishment and a restorative approach come to the same terms? Can a punishment be constructive and restorative? Bas van Stokkom joins the discourse following Christian Gade's thought provoking article. 

Is punishment only understood as inflicting pain by restorative justice professionals? What kind of harm do justice responses aim to prevent? In his philosophical contribution, Jacques Claessen carries on the discussion about the meaning of restorative justice and punishment. 

Ivo Aertsen's answer to the exchange between Christian Gade and Tim Chapman about "Is Restorative Justice Another Form of Punishment?"

Kim Magiera explains in her foreword how the discussion started on restorative justice and punishment started and why the EFRJ is launching this special issue of its Newsletter. 


Exploring the implications of restorative principles for architectural design. 

Since 2013, Prison Arts Collective has been dedicated to expanding the transformative power of the arts to communities impacted by incarceration. The project and collaborative teaching teams are organised around the belief in art as a human right.

While Shakespeare knew nothing of restorative justice, many aspects of Measure for measure will be familiar to restorative justice practitioners.


How a Turkish art of mosaic painting, Ebru can help us to express ourseleves?

Get to know 9 compelling reasons for joining us in Leuven for the 2024 Winter Academy!

A Glasgow based organisation supporting survivors of sexual and domestic violence introduced restorative justice in their service recently. This is article presents their journey and the approach they found. 

Interview with a victim-offender mediator from Germany.

The co-creative process of the making of the EFRJ awards in 2022, from Shetland to Sardinia, by Clair Aldington

Project Restore: Towards the Needs of Victim-Survivors of Sexual Abuse

Can restorative justice with a survivor-centred perspective be applied to cases involving stealthing?


Despite significant legal and procedural reforms, the criminal justice system continues to fail to address the needs of victims of sexual violence. The following article debates the applicability of Restorative Justice as an alternative avenue to provide justice, recognising both challenges and benefits.

“Learning About Restorative Justice Doesn’t Happen in a Formal Setting” — Three reflections on the Winter Academy 2023 of the EFRJ by contributors and participants. 

On 21 June, at the 2023 Annual General Meeting of the EFRJ, it was announced that Lucy Jaffé is a co-opted by the EFRJ Board as a new Board Member, after Tim Chapman's leave. This is her speech presented the at the Annual General Meeting. 

Interview with Maite Virto, facilitator and the coordinator of the Restorative Justice Service of Navarra.

Entrevista a Maite Virto, facilitadora y coordinadora del Servicio de Justicia Restaurativa de Navarra.

Interview with Jorge Ollero, Director of Penal Enforcement and Restorative Justice Service of the Government of Navarra, and EFRJ Board Member.

Entrevista a Jorge Ollero, Director del Servicio de Ejecución Penal y Justicia Restaurativa del Gobierno de Navarra y miembro de la junta directiva del EFRJ. 

Interview wiith Eduardo Santos, who conducted the first victim-offender mediation encounter in Navarra in 2006 and is the Minister of Justice of Navarra.

Entrevista a Eduardo Santos, quien realizó el primer encuentro de mediación víctima-infractor en Navarra en 2006 y es ministro de Justicia de Navarra.

Insights from Leuven and anticipation for Pamplona - Editorial of the 24(1) Newsletter of the EFRJ (2023 first issue). 

Get to know the 10 reasons why you should join the main professional gathering of the EFRJ in 2023, the upcoming seminar, "Policy Matters in Restorative Justice" in Pamplona! 

The group "The Encounter of the Encounters" is composed by witnesses of political violence and violent extremism who engaged in restorative dialogues in different countries in Europe and beyond - a report by Emanuela Biffi. 


In this piece Brunilda Pali and Anna Matczak offer some context and give an account of the international conference Measuring, researching, narrating: discussing the (social) impact of restorative justice that was organised on 5 November 2021 by the Research Committee of the European Forum for Restorative Justice.

Cristina Vasilescu's reflection on her experience in policy evaluation and in particular in the evaluation of restorative justice interventions at community level, for example, the ConTatto, the App@Con and the Un Futuro in Comune projects. 

Antonella Valer and Katja Holzner's account of the project titled Restorative Justice in Communities that the Centre for Restorative Justice of the Autonomous Region Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol has proposed from 2020 to 2022. 

Giustizia riparativa nelle comunità è il titolo del progetto che il Centro di Giustizia riparativa della Regione Autonoma Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol ha proposto dal 2020 al 2022.  Di Antonella Valer e Katja Holzner. 

I recently learned the term ‘spark bird.’ For bird watchers, the ‘spark bird’ is the bird that first ignited their interest in birding, that first grabbed their attention and interest. If you meet an avid bird watcher, ask them about their ‘spark bird’ and watch their eyes light up! - by Lindsey Pointer

The House of Peace Foundation was created by people who like talking. All our activities are bound together by the motto: ‘Let’s meet. Everything starts with a conversation.’ - by Dorotha Whitten

Roberto Moreno's analysis of an initial circle that responded to complaint of the service's client, who had suffered domestic violence. Available in English and Spanish. 

Cybercrime encompasses a wide range of offences. This piece focuses on online abuse and harassment, cyberbullying and cyberstalking and the potential of restorative justice to address the consequences of such harm.

Joanna Shapland claims that evaluation — and its precursor, monitoring — are key elements for delivering restorative justice  services. In this article she explains why. This is the first piece of the series that follows the  Measuring, researching, narrating: Discussing the (social) impact of restorative justice online conference. 

Christina De Angelis attended both the EFRJ Conference in Sassari, and the pre-conference training event with Dominic Barter.  In her text she reflects on both exepriences, and shares her journey around key topics that emerged from the discussions in Sassari. 

Why me?’s Lucy Jaffé and Sula Blankenberg reflect on their experiences at the European Forum for Restorative Justice’s 11th International Conference, the workshop they presented: ‘Exploring restorative justice across language and culture,’ and lastly the pre-conference training led by Dominic Barter.

Catherine Gregoire presented at the  11th international EFRJ conference on the conceptualisation of restorative justice in the context of international criminal proceedings. In this article - based on her intervention - she discusses further the topic. 

Anna Acconcia, a family lawyer and mediator from Milan shares her experiences about the EFRJ's conference in Sassari.

An exchange between Christian Gade and Tim Chapman sparked by Christian's presentation at the EFRJ's 11th international conference in Sassari. Can restorative justice be interpreted as punishment? And is it helpful to interpret it that way? 

Having previously seen mediation used improperly in cases of sexual misconduct in the workplace contexts, Dr Dieneke T. de Vos describes how her views shifted after attending the CJPE Summer Course workshop on restorative justice responses to sexual harm. 

The Italian Minister of Justice, Marta Cartabia’s opening speech at the opening session of our conference in Sassari. Thanks to the colleagues of the Italian Ministry of Justice for her speech available. Read the full text! 

Why are we having the 11th International Conference in Sassari? Who is behind the community welcoming us next week? Patrizia Patrizi is an EFRJ Board member and co-organiser of the conference. Get to know her and her warm team through our interview with her!

Heidi Jokinen interviews with Bruna Dighera, a psychologist and a psychotherapist in Italy, who has used restorative methods to deal with conflicts emerging around Covid-19 vaccines.

Robi Damelin and Layla Alsheikh have both lost a child to the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Instead of hating the other side and seeking revenge, both have chosen dialogue.  Get to know them in this "Meet the keynote speakers" interview. 

Ollero invites us to a social debate through an easy to read discourse, including personal experiences of his work with men and women who entered the penal system and are also victims of social injustice. 

A mediation and restorative justice NGO in Hannover Waage offers restorative justice services in cases  of domestic violence, which is still not considered a useful intervention everywhere in Germany. In this article two staff members explain their approach. 

In this interview, Diāna Ziediņa talks to Olga Kiseleva about the difficulties of organising and carrying out restorative programmes for domestic violence cases at the State Probation Service of Latvia. Diāna discusses how to work with such sensitive cases in an institution designed and focused on working with offenders.

How do the words we use influence our response to conflicts? Giovanni Grandi will be a plenary contributor at our conference in Sassari. Get to know his unique ideas through our interview with him!

Maxiabel was a hit in 2021. The film portrays the restorative encounter between a victim of ETA, and one her husband's assassins. The film sparked debates in Spain about restorative justice. Representatives of the Government of Navarra respond to some of the critics. 

The documentary ‘Eye to Eye’ is a powerful witness to the emotional strains of family members of victims and perpetrators participating in restorative justice. Nina Wroldsen shares her thoughts about the film.

Simona Bashour Dengler took a break from her work as probation officer in Germany to get first hand experiences of the charity Prison Fellowship in Colombia. During her stay in the country she was commissioned to set up a victim—offender mediation programme for juveniles in Medellin. These are her experiences.

Ian Marder and Petra Masopust Šachová review the the Council of Europe's new Venice Declaration on the role of restorative justice in criminal matters adopted on 14 December 2021 by the summit of the Ministers of Justice. 


Cristina Vasilescu, an expert in public policy analysis and evaluation, tells us what was discussed at the Security, democracy and cities conference, organised by the European Forum for Urban Security (EFUS) in October 2021. 

Ana Pereira discusses “The Accused” (1988),“Primal Fear” (1996), and “The Mustang” (2019): three movies that depict elements of the criminal justice system to show how films can contribute to the understanding of the complexity of justice. 

Interview with David Gustafson - Looking back and reflecting on the place of understanding and support in developing restorative justice in cases involving serious and sensitive crimes.

Tim Chapman explores challenges of existing restorative justice practices with children and young people. 

Judah Oudshoorn ponders three key questions to open a discussion about our understanding of the foundations of restorative justice.

"What is needed to become a good mediator? Can it be learnt?" In the first article of the series “Questions we don’t dare to ask”, Siri Kemény puts forward some critical reflections about the role of the mediator. 

It is incredibly important for us as restorative justice scholars, researchers, and practitioners to confront the master narratives that influence our internal reactions to others.

30 years of youth work and RJ experience suggest that building strong, positive working relationships are more likely to increase the engagement of those young people most at risk from school exclusion.

But how could restorative justice work when one party was non-verbal? What was possible when one person lacked the cognitive capacity to take responsibility for their actions?

What is possible when working with those who are neurotypically different and have a range of diverse needs? Important learning about how restorative approaches can remove barriers to participation comes from practitioners working in the ‘additional needs space’.

What can be learnt about inclusion, communication and culture through working collaboratively on a European Erasmus+ research project into school culture? There are challenges and opportunities, but the shared understanding developed is of great mutual benefit.

Interview with Grazia Mannozzi discussing how Italy has reached this important milestone: restorative justice on the agenda of penal reform. 

In making the book BlkBritDem we wanted to capture and the energy of the marches and re-present it in a way that would inspire, and maintain the momentum for change. 

Twenty three years after the end of war, not one senior state official has sent a sincere apology to the victims of the crimes and grave violations of human rights. Activists have written a book to help politicians apologising. 

LGBT NGO professionals tend to lack practical experiences and technical knowledge of restorative measures, whilst restorative justice
practitioners need more training on the specific needs of victims of anti-LGBT hate crimes.

‘Sorry, I need to cancel our meeting.’ It is likely many people experienced this statement (or some variation of it) in 2020. It is also likely some of these cancellations led to a deeper awareness or insights previously unexperienced.

Hate crime, which usually affects the most marginalised people in society, has very poor prosecution rates and low victim satisfaction.

Branka Peurača's interview with Miriam Attias explores what do you do when violent crimes arise between locals of a small Finnish town and recent migrants, residents of a reception centre; and when the criminal investigations do not defuse the polarisation?

The Jubilee Magazine aims to celebrate the past, present, and future of the EFRJ and the restorative justice movement in Europe. It passes along intergenerational wisdom, nostalgic memories, intercultural experiences, thoughtful reflections, and wishful dreams, all united under the colourful umbrella that is the EFRJ. 

The i-Restore project gave me the opportunity to see the possibility of resolving conflicts through a considerably less dehumanising method.

This is a refreshing and welcome addition to the ‘Little Book’ series which, in relation to restorative justice, has a rich and distinguished history in the justice and peacebuilding context. 

Restorative justice and other restorative processes are increasingly being offered to children and young people across the world. They can offer children a justice process that meets their needs and prevents the retraumatisation that existing legal systems often inflict. 

In scientific literature, definitions of restorative justice are presented around its process, its purpose, or both. 

Crime and recidivism among young people are global challenges with complex roots. Young people involved in juvenile justice often face poverty...

We could all encounter the RJWorld 2020 eConference via our screens. A new experience of connecting people with an interest in restorative justice around the world, yet very different experiences for every participant. Meet the man behind the event.

Arti Mohan was one of the presenters of the RJWorld 2020 eConference. She also attended a significant number of other talks. This is her review of this pioneering event.

Report of the fourth meeting of restorative justice services and practitioners in Europe to talk about their work in the context of COVID-19. 

Nine unique reflections on the Covid-19 crisis from around the Globe through a restorative lens.

In these extraordinary times, when we are all asked to isolate ourselves, and when many of our members and partners have to face unprecedented situations, we want to express our solidarity and strengthen the community we belong to. That is why we have launched the #SolidarityOverDistance campaign.

Report from the third  European meeting on restorative justice and COVID-19 organised by the Estonian Social Insurance Board and Dr. Ian Marder (Maynooth University, Department of Law) on 10th June 2020. 

Due to Covid-19, there has been a spike in anti-Chinese hate crime.  Migrants have often borne the brunt of these attacks, which can result in alienation from British society.  Restorative justice can help to repair the harm caused, and heal these broader divisions.

On the occasion of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia we have made a mini interview with Malini Laxminarayan about the significance of the running LetsGoByTalking project and her involvement in it.

How will students and teachers come back together in the school classrooms, corridors and playgrounds in ways that are physically safe and also emotionally and relationally healthy?

On 4th May 2020, the Estonian Social Insurance Board and Dr. Ian Marder (Maynooth University, Department of Law) collaborated to organise the secondly monthly meeting of restorative justice services and practitioners across Europe to talk about their work in the context of COVID-19. Over 30 people from more than a dozen countries joined the conversation to discuss their experiences of delivering restorative justice and restorative practices online in recent weeks.

In 2020, on the occasion of its 20th anniversary, the EFRJ launches a call for stories and testimonials from individuals who participated in a restorative process (victim-offender mediation, restorative conferencing, peace-making circle, etc.) and are willing to share their experiences in any way.

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the European Forum for Restorative Justice (EFRJ), the Editorial Committee of the EFRJ Newsletter will put together a new publication by November: the Jubilee Magazine! This will contain articles, interviews, testimonials, poems, drawings, photos, etc. on the past, present and future of 1) the EFRJ as an organisation, 2) on themes relevant to restorative justice, and 3) controversies and critical voices for restorative justice.

The call for contributions is open until 21 June 2020!

Report of a first discussion among practitioners and researchers about how we might use restorative justice and restorative practices during the COVID-19 crisis (6th April 2020) . 

A discussion about the preparations for our conference in Sassari with the the  team of the Sassari University: Patrizia Patrizi, Gian Luigi Lepri, Ernesto Lodi, Maria Luisa Scarpa. 

The article is dedicated to the application of mediation in criminal matters in Kazakhstan from the point of view of a practising mediator. It presents an analysis of the mediation applied at the pre-trial stage, as well as at the ...

In the following article, I would like to give you a short personal account of the use of mediation in criminal justice with refugees. From 2013 to 2018, I was a mediator in Schleswig-Holstein for extended victim-offender mediation with adolescents ...

On the women’s rights and the MeToo movements and the public recognition of making restorative justice accessible as service for survivors of sexual violence. A discussion for the International Women's Day 2020. 

On a restorative approach to sexual violence and the #MeToo movement - Interview for the International Woman’s Day 2020.

Interview with Tim Chapman  on the challenges and prospects of 20th anniversary year of the European Forum for Restorative Justice 

You will find in this archive all our newsletters that have been sent out since the the first issue was published in June 2000.