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Provides articles discussing restorative justice advancements in Asia. Articles appear in the order in which they were added to the site with the most recent appearing first.

Memory for change
from the discussion paper prepared by Impunity Watch: The present discussion paper serves as a basis for the Asia Exchange Meeting “Memory for Change”, which is being organised by Impunity Watch (IW) in Bangkok, Thailand from 1 until 7 November 2014. The Exchange Meeting seeks to explore with civil society organisations and victims’ groups from Cambodia, Burma/Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Timor Leste and Thailand how memorialisation can be used as a complementary or alternative transitional justice process (TJ), and/or as a step towards institutionalised processes of TJ such as trials and truth commissions....
Let the victims speak: A voice from Peru on the Commissions on Truth and Disappearances
from the article by Eduardo González Cueva: On April 24, seven and a half years after the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, Parliament voted to establish the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and a Commission of Investigation on Disappeared Persons (CIDP). Given the long wait, some expected victims’ organizations and human rights groups to be ecstatic; but in fact, the opposite is true. They have strongly rejected the bill because—they claim—it will allow the commission to recommend amnesties for perpetrators of gross human rights violations.
Seeking restorative justice for victims of communal riots
by B. Rajeshwari: In the context of India and the occurrence of any major communal riot brings forward the plight of the victims, their struggle to attain justice and come to terms with the harsh violence they have had to face. The criminal justice system in situations of communal rioting has not really been able to bring the desired results for the victims. Justice by courts is often delayed and takes years before any concrete decisions emerges from them. Both in the case of anti-Sikh riots and the Gujarat riot, the victims have not been able to receive justice in most cases. Most judicial decisions are compensatory in character and in some cases punishments to those committing the crime is a way to assuage the victims. In the case of Gujarat riots, after so many years, the court gave punishment to a few of those who instigated the mob to take up violence. The reparation of victims has happened is some cases where they have been given material compensation or there has been an acknowledgement that wrongs were committed against one particular community where agencies of the State also participated in different capacities in the violence against the victims.
The Xingshi Hejie: Criminal Conciliation in Mainland China and in Taiwan
from the paper by Riccardo Berti: When we say Xingshi Hejie (刑事和解), which could be translated as “victim offender reconciliation” (VOR), we are talking about a conciliatory practice that was only recently implemented in China's criminal legal system although, despite its recent appearance, it has very ancient roots. It is founded, basically, on a choice that the person accused of minor criminal offenses makes to enable a conciliatory procedure, with the consent of the judge and the prosecutor, in order to obtain a less severe punishment at the end of the judicial process. It is a procedure that allows the victim to receive and promotes the offender’s repentance, in fact very often the rules of Xingshi Hejie emphasize the formal apology from the offender to the victim and society, or his acts expressing repentance and contrition.
A voice for the future of juvenile justice in Asia Pacific.
from the report written by Alice McGrath and published by International Juvenile Justice Observatory: ...The report sheds light on crucial areas of juvenile justice and leading practices in this regard, including prevention, diversion, restorative justice, improving conditions of detention and promoting social reintegration. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) welcomes the efforts of APCJJ to promote the implementation and application of diversionary measures and restorative justice programmes for children in the Asia-Pacific region. This report serves as an excellent basis for future juvenile justice reform endeavors in the Asia-Pacific region. It will help to find innovative responses to protect children in conflict with the law from harm and strengthen juvenile justice systems in the region.
Arc of Justice
From the article by Sidrah Fatma Ahmed in the Morung Express: The Central Jail, Dimapur has open lawns. Prisoners stroll in pairs of two and three, chatting. A group of inmates and a constable sit under a tree and chat casually. Jails in Nagaland were built due to the hegemony of the British Raj and then later the Indian state. They were mostly created on an emergency basis during the height of the Independence movement in 1970. Nagaland has one Central Jail, three District Jails and seven Sub- Jails.
Girl's death 24 years ago haunts quest for justice in reformist Myanmar
from the article by Andrew R.C. Marshall on Reuters: ....The authorities haven't forgotten either. Political reform in Myanmar is fostering greater openness about past atrocities but little accountability, especially when the country's still-powerful military is involved. Today, Win Maw Oo's impoverished and long-suffering family remains under police surveillance.
Spotlight on restorative justice
from the article by Andy Ho on Singapore Law Watch: Singapore courts practice a limited form of such restorative justice. For example, the Community Court here is given sentencing flexibility and can issue the Community Service Order (modelled after the Corrective Work Order for litterbugs). It may also call for a pre-trial conference of family of the accused - and sometimes of the victim - to explore compensation and get an undertaking to attend therapy and so on. But all this is for minor crimes, and still offender-focused, not designed with victims in mind.
Introduction to restorative justice in Malaysia
from the article on Voice of the Children: In considering introducing restorative justice within the legal juvenile justice framework in Malaysia, we have to weigh its benefits and effectiveness in comparison to the existing system. The existing juvenile justice system, i.e. the proceedings in the Court For Children, does not provide opportunity for the full participation of the child offender and their family. It is too complicated to comprehend and very formal in nature .
Former Norwich police chief to lead Bangladeshi delegation in lessons on restorative justice
from the article by Peter Walsh in the Norwich Evening News: A former Norwich police chief will show a high-powered delegation from Bangladesh how restorative justice can be used to help cut crime without people having to be locked up. ....He said: “I’m part of a programme looking to reduce the overcrowded prisons in Bangladesh. One of their biggest problems is the inefficiency of their criminal justice system. It can take up to eight years for something to come to trial and the likelihood is defendants will spend most of their time remanded in custody. It will be their second visit to Norfolk to look at restorative justice and its something they’re really keen on.”
House passes revamped Juvenile Court Law
from the article by Ezra Sihite in the Jakarta Globe: ....Azis Syamsuddin, deputy chairman of House Commission III on legal affairs, said legislators were very thorough and careful in their deliberations on the legislation because the principle of restorative justice that it prioritized over punitive justice was unprecedented in Indonesia’s legal system. In addition to promoting restorative justice, in which the needs of the perpetrator, victim and the victim’s family must be considered in reaching a solution that is aimed at healing rather than punishing, the new law also raises the minimum age at which juvenile offenders may be incarcerated to 14 years old. The previous law set the limit at 12 years old.
Not adding up: Criminal reconciliation in Chinese juvenile justice
from the article in Dui Hua's Human Rights Journal: Recent amendments to China’s Criminal Procedure Law involve special procedures for handling cases involving juvenile defendants and resolving cases through criminal reconciliation. Although the law does not explicitly link the two, criminal reconciliation has been a key feature in the development of China’s juvenile justice system under the principle of “education first, punishment second.” Dui Hua welcomes criminal reconciliation as a means to restorative justice and reduced juvenile incarceration, but research suggests that the relatively new measure is experiencing some growing pains in China. Jiang Jue (姜珏), a PhD candidate in the School of Law at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, has done extensive research on criminal reconciliation in China and has seen how the process works in many juvenile cases. Her research indicates that current implementation of criminal reconciliation falls short of juvenile justice principles by alienating youth and stifling attempts at education.
The dead talking
from the article by Emma Slater on The Bureau of Investigative Journalism: Some may find the concept of reporter Ding Yu’s show controversial. Every week for just over five years, the glamorous Ding interviewed death row prisoners, broadcasting to an audience of 40 million Chinese. A number of the interviewees had only days to live.
Bougainville wants restorative justice approach to settling violence in south
from the report on Radio New Zealand International: The autonomous Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville hopes to resolve a long standing impasse in the south of the main island by taking the traditional Melanesian approach of reconciliation. Despite six years of autonomy, few government services are available around the district of Konnou because the security of workers can’t be guaranteed.
"Restorative justice" to reintegrate youth-at-risk into society
from Wayne Chan's article in ChannelNewsAsia.com: Minister of State for Home Affairs, Masagos Zulkifli recommended using "restorative justice" to divert delinquent youth away from the court justice system. He said this at the 1st Singapore Restorative Conference which kicked off on Thursday.
Restorative justice in the Cambodian community: Challenges and possibilities in practice
The principles and practices of restorative justice, as they’ve been developed in Western contexts, do not fully match the social values in the Cambodian community. Hierarchal social values, such as chbab srey and chbab proh, conflict with the non-hierarchal ideal in circles. In VOM, gender roles and expectations are active and challenges victim empowerment ideals. The victim and offender dichotomy, a relationship of right and wrong, challenges the Buddhist value of equanimity. FGC is perhaps the most compatible practice to Cambodian social values. The principles of restorative justice do match with Cambodian social values in the mutual recognition of interconnectedness and collective responsibility. The preservation and re-building of culture is very important among Cambodians because of the social and economic losses incurred during the Vietnam War and Khmer Rouge period. Any effort to promote restorative practices in the Cambodian community should bear this in mind. (from the paper)
Restorative justice in the Cambodian community: Challenges and possibilities in practice
from the paper by Pen Khek Chear: ....the syncretic beliefs among Cambodians lead them to also use gru to alleviate suffering and deal with conflict. Here is a personal example from the author of this paper that occurred in the Cambodian American community: There was an attempted robbery at my aunt’s liquor store, where one of the robbers was shot and killed in the store by police. The liquor store is in a predominately African American community; the robber and the police officer were also African American. The local community was outraged when they heard about the killing and suspicious of the fact that my aunt refused to talk to press or community members about what had happen. This led to a boycott of her store. She went to a gru for help. The gru said that, in order to alleviate the current problems, she had to paint the back of two turtles and let them go into a local creek. This would send the bad spirits away. She did as she was told. The boycott eventually stopped and after some months, things went back to normal.
Toward Transformative Mediation: Restorative justice practice in South Korea
from the article by Jae Young Lee: Growing interest in Restorative Justice has been emerging in Korea among scholars, law practitioners, and civil society groups since as early as the late 1990s. However, its practice was very limited until a recent experimental project from 2006-2008. During those three years, Korean Institute of Criminal Justice (KICJ) and a civil organization called Conflict Resolution Center under Women Making Peace carried out the first formal Restorative Justice project in Korea called Victim-Offender Dialog, particularly designed for juvenile cases. Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, Seoul Family Court, and Juvenile Protection Institution referred juvenile cases to Conflict Resolution Center to be dealt with a conference where conflicting parties and trained mediators sat together.
Hong Kong research demonstrates effectiveness of the restorative whole-school approach
from the paper by Dennis S.W. Wong and T. Wing Lo: To evaluate the effectiveness of a restorative whole-school approach (RWsA), a pre-post study was undertaken. The sampling frame was based on the school list provided by the education authority. A total of 1480 Secondary 1 (equivalent to aged 12) to Secondary 3 (equivalent to aged 14) students from four different Hong Kong schools participated in the survey between September 2004 and August 2006. Due to practical constraints such as the school curriculum and extra-curricular activities, schools had the autonomy to implement the programmes to different degrees, which were then evaluated by the research team.
Restorative justice will work in the Philippines: DOJ chief
from the article in CBCP News: Efforts to push for restorative justice in the country got a boost with a top government official saying it would work in the country. Department of Justice Secretary Leila De Lima said she believes the strategy can play an important role in crime reduction.

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