Press release – EFRJ conference Belfast 2014

Beyond crime
8th International Conference of the European Forum for Restorative Justice starts 11 June 2014 in Belfast

The European Forum for Restorative Justice is proud to be in Belfast this year for it’s biannual conference from 11 to 14 June. About 300 participants from Europe and overseas have registered to this international symposium jointly hosted by Queen’s University Belfast and University of Ulster. This year’s theme is “Beyond crime: pathways to desistance, social justice, and peacebuilding”.
The Minister of Justice, David Ford, will open the conference with a speech on the government’s support for restorative justice. Delegates will learn how Northern Ireland emerging from years of conflict has developed restorative principles and practices in the criminal justice system and in local communities. Local experts and practitioners including ex-combatants and victims will explain how restorative practices have made a difference to community safety, social justice and peace building at grass roots level.
The conference will broaden the scope of restorative justice and look “beyond” its application to the criminal justice system. Prestigious international and local experts such as John Braithwaite (Australia) who is conducting and international comparison study of peace building including Northern Ireland.  Shadd Maruna, Joanna Shapland, Tove H. Malloy, Brunilda Pali and Kieran McEvoy will be among the plenary speakers. More than 50 parallel workshops and field visits to relevant locations related to peace building will further inspire participants. The European Restorative Justice Award Celebration will be the highlight of the last conference evening.
The conference will consider such questions as:
* Does Restorative Justice help offenders to desist from crime?
* How can Restorative Justice contribute to social justice, especially in an increasingly intercultural society?
* How can Restorative Justice contribute to peace building in divided, transitional, and post-conflict societies?
The three selected themes are highly interrelated, and offer opportunities to deepen our understanding, and to critically reflect on the limits and the potentials of Restorative Justice in an increasingly complex, intercultural, and divided world.
For further information please refer to Tim Chapman (local organiser) at 07990690854. See also old.euforumrj.org