Sinn Féin introduces bill on restorative justice

Sinn Féin introduces bill on restorative justice

Sinn Féin has proposed legislation to encourage greater use of restorative justice practices in Ireland.

The Criminal Justice (Promotion of Restorative Justice) Amendment Bill 2023, introduced by TDs Pa Daly, Maurice Quinlivan and Patricia Ryan, would amend the Criminal Justice (Victims of Crime) Act 2017 to encourage the referral of criminal cases to restorative justice schemes.

It follows the recent publication of research commissioned by the Department of Justice which said that restorative justice (RJ) is not yet being used to its “maximum potential” and its expansion could deliver “significant savings to the State”.

Mr Daly, Sinn Féin’s justice spokesperson, said: “Restorative justice holds so much more potential and this bill would see more widespread adoption. According to the European Forum for Restorative Justice ‘studies consistently state that RJ practices achieve at least 85 per cent satisfaction among victims’.

“It is the victims of crime we need to put first and foremost in our justice system, and with overcrowded prisons and lengthy court delays resulting from government inaction, we need to explore alternative approaches.

“I look forward to engaging with the Department of Justice regarding the bill and I am open to its implementation, in whole or in part. I would also like to give a massive thanks to Dr Ian Marder of Maynooth University. His advice and guidance was invaluable in the drafting of the bill.”

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