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Articles from RJ Online

These short articles featuring developments within the Asian region first appeared in the montly edition of Restorative Justice Online.

Editor. New Online Journal on Peacebuilding.
Peace Prints: the South Asian Journal of Peacebuilding provides a forum for academics and practitioners in South Asia to share their experiences internationally while at the same time receiving insights from projects around the world. The inaugural issue focuses on strategic peacebuilding.
Restorative Justice for Juveniles and Adults in Thailand
In 2004, Thailand introduced restorative conferencing as a response to juvenile offending. This approach has subsequently been expanded for use in domestic violence cases and with adult offenders through the Department of Probation. In this article, Wanchai Roujanavong, Director General of the Department of Probation, describes the introduction of restorative justice into Thailand, its legislative support, and outcomes to date.
New Juvenile Justice Law in the Philippines
With the signing of the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act 2006 by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the Philippines introduced a new juvenile justice system. Among the many provisions seeking to protect children in conflict with the law, the legislation calls for restorative justice to be an integral part of the new system.
A Restorative Justice Audit of the Chinese Criminal Justice System
The Chinese Criminal Justice System is very different from Western models. While it is often characterized as punitive and retributive, the Chinese system does involve some restorative elements. Xinzhou Zhang, a Chinese police officer, prepared this audit while earning his Msc in Criminal Justice and Public Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Restorative Justice in Thailand: Lessons Learned
The Thai government began experimenting with restorative practices in 2003 with the implementation of family group conferences for juvenile offenders. In 2004, the probation services began a pilot project using restorative justice in 11 probation offices. Angkana Boonsit from the Thai probation Department shares her experiences and lessons learned in implementing restorative justice in Thai cultural setting. This speech was originally given at the at the ‘Restorative Justice in Emerging Countries’ ancillary session at the 11th United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.
Using Traditional Practices to Improve the Justice System
Indigenous justice practices and philosophies have been important in the development of restorative justice processes such as conferencing and circles. Increasingly, governments, development agencies, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are realizing the potential of such traditional practices to meet the justice needs of marginalized populations, resolve issues of court backlogs, and to enable communities to own and resolve their own conflicts. In the Philippines, such problems are being resolved by enhancing traditional systems. Based on the use of mediation and conciliation by local elected leaders, the Barangay Justice System (BJS) is the focus of an NGO effort to provide access to justice and empower communities to participate in justice reform.
Responding to Juvenile Crime in Thailand
Families and victims to get their say and Families are to get rehab role are two headlines appearing in the Bangkok Post in June. The articles refer to an announcement by the Juvenile Observation and Protection Department of its plans to institute family group conferencing with juvenile offenders beginning July 1. The Department hopes to lower the number of juveniles held in detention centres through this programme.
Developing Holistic Approaches in Singapore.
Joseph Ozawa is the Senior Director of the Family and Juvenile Justice Centre (FJJC) of the Subordinate Courts of Singapore. He is active in FJJC’s development of restorative and holistic practices. In this article, he describes three programs now in use in Singapore and relates how the format is important in the Asian context.
Japan and Restorative Practices
The emphasis on apology and forgiveness in Japanese society has led many commentators, such as John O. Haley, to point to Japan as an example of how restorative justice can affect crime and society. Despite this prominence of apology and forgiveness in explaining lower crime rates in Japan, these mechanisms have remained informal and tend to be offender focused. Recent activities seek to change this reality.
Peacemaking in Indonesia
In 1999, Duane Ruth-Heffelbower took a leave of absence from his graduate faculty position at Fresno Pacific University’s Center for Peacemaking and Conflict Studies to accept an invitation to join the faculty of Duta Wacana Christian University (UKDW) in Yogyakarta, Indonesia under an appointment from the Mennonite Central Committee.

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