NEWS RELEASE – HALIFAX, NS, March 14, 2022 /CNW/ – Department of Justice Canada
A fair justice system must be compassionate, accessible, and prioritize the safety and well-being of the victims, perpetrators and communities affected by crime. Expanding the use of restorative justice is an effective way to respond to crime, promote safer communities, increase access to justice, and help address the over-representation of marginalized people in the criminal justice system.
Today, the Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, joined by Member of Parliament for Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, Darren Fisher, announced that the Government of Canada is providing financial support to the Restorative Research, Innovation and Education Lab (Restorative Lab) at the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University, to accelerate the development of restorative justice across Canada. The institution has received $644,508 in funding over four fiscal years starting in 2019 through the federal Justice Partnership and Innovation Program.
Using this funding, the Schulich School of Law’s Restorative Lab, through its National Restorative Justice Acceleration & Innovation Initiative, is working collaboratively with all levels of government and other stakeholders towards a robust national strategy to accelerate and sustain the development and implementation of restorative approaches in our justice system by means of research, innovation, education, and capacity building.
Funds will be dedicated to planning and hosting a national collaborative learning conference on restorative justice that will help mobilize key partners to share knowledge, expertise, and experience about the growth of restorative justice in Canada. These dynamic conversations will help build relationships, collaboration, structure, and commitment to support the development of innovative approaches, with the ultimate goal of improving lives for people and communities.
The Initiative is also undertaking an innovation incubator to develop a restorative approach to address the harmful impacts of multi justice interventions on individuals and families affected by family violence. This incubator supports inter-jurisdictional and multi-sectoral collaboration to improve access to meaningful justice.
Dalhousie University is home to the oldest school of common law in Canada. The Restorative Research, Innovation and Education Lab is a private and public partnership hosted at the Schulich School of Law, which serves as a center of excellence for social innovation through a restorative approach.
- Restorative justice has been used in the criminal justice system for over 40 years. It is built on the belief that crime causes harm to people, relationships, and communities and that those who have caused that harm have the responsibility to repair it.
- Restorative justice programs work to connect both victims and offenders to existing services to support their needs. This could include counseling, addictions treatment, mental health programs, and victim services. Restorative Justice has been proven to be an effective response to crime and contributes to a criminal justice system that is accessible, compassionate and fair, and promotes the safety and well-being of Canadians.
- Indigenous legal traditions, which have been used by Indigenous peoples for thousands of years to resolve disputes have informed many restorative justice programs in Canada. Practices and approaches that are based on restorative justice principles can have a positive impact in addressing systemic racism and the over-representation of Indigenous peoples in the criminal justice system.
- The Justice Partnership and Innovation Program (JPIP) supports activities that contribute to increasing access to the Canadian justice system and that respond effectively to the changing conditions affecting Canadian justice policy, including reforms to the justice systems and improvements to the delivery of justice services.
- Justice Partnership and Innovation Program
- Restorative Research, Innovation, and Education Lab
- Schulich School of Law
- Restorative Justice
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SOURCE Department of Justice Canada
For further information: media may contact: Chantalle Aubertin, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Justice, 613-992-6568; Media Relations, Department of Justice Canada, 613-957-4207, firstname.lastname@example.org