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The Introduction of Restorative Justice and Its practice in Taiwan Tainan District Prosecutors Office

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  • Last updated:2019-01-05
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The Introduction of Restorative Justice and Its practice in Taiwan Tainan District Prosecutors Office

 

Restorative Justice provides opportunities of dialogues for all the stakeholders affected by a crime, including the offenders, the victims, their family members, and the involved communities. This process tries to help the offenders gain insight into the cause and effect of their offenses so that they can take responsibility in a meaningful way. It also seeks to heal the victims’ emotional harm and compensate their substantive damage. Comparing with current criminal justice process which focuses on punishment and retaliation, restorative justice emphasizes on how to heal the harm, regain the balance, and recover the broken relationships after the occurrence of a crime. This process affords justice a new connotation: seeking justice by apology, taking responsibility, reconciliation, and recovering relationship.

 

Over 20 countries have begun the practice of restorative justice, and they have developed different modes, such as victim-offender mediation, family group conferencing, peacemaking circles (sometimes called sentencing circles), community restorative boards. Among the aforementioned modes, victim-offender mediation (VOM) is most commonly used. According to the “Basic principles on the use of restorative justice programmes in criminal matter”drafted by the Economic and Social Council of United Nations in 2002, restorative justice is an evolving response to crime that respects the dignity and equality of each person, builds understanding, and promotes social harmony through the healing of victims, offenders, and communities.

 

One probation officer in Taiwan Tainan District Prosecutors Office shared her experience of participating in the practice of restorative justice in a manslaughter case caused by a car accident. In the restorative conference,   the victim’s  mother and the offender both got the opportunity to utter their feelings and thoughts regarding the car accident, through which they could get closer to the truth and obtain the real relief. 

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