UK: restorative justice as a victim’s right
RJI shares this story from the BBC News regarding the story of Paul Kohler, a victim of violent crime. (9.16)
Mr. Kohler chose restorative justice in his own case which meant he chose to meet the offender who attacked him.
As Kohler describes in this article and video interview participating in a victim offender meeting empowered him. From
such direct victim offender meetings victims can get answers to questions that only the offender can provide. This is
important for both the victim of crime and the offender.
We are encouraged by the inclusion of restorative justice in the victims code in statute in the UK. We need more such
legislation to expand the use of restorative justice.
Restorative justice can include many processes that empower victims of crime but victim offender dialogue is the best
example of it in our opinion. Restorative justice should be an option for all victims of crime and it should be available at
various times after the crime has occurred. It should be voluntary for offenders to participate since
mandatory participation is counter productive. RJI encourages governments to consider adding restorative justice as a
victim’s right in their laws and statutes.