I'm afraid I caught wind of this a bit too late to participate or to spread the word. However, I still think it's noteworthy to point to an online discussion hosted by the Guardian newspaper in the UK that took place earlier today in the comments thread of the following post: Restorative justice: live discussion. The link I've posted will allow you to scroll down and read through the entire thread.

There's a lot of useful discussion and sharing of ideas about how RJ works in both the justice system and also in schools.

I found this comment particularly interesting, but there are many more:

I'm very interested to hear whether you think restorative justice could be applied to cases of reckless HIV transmission. This is something that advocates against an overly punitive approach to HIV non-disclosure or potential or perceived exposure are discussing in countries where this is considerered a crime (e.g. US, Canada, much of Europe, including Scotland). However England & Wales only prosecutes reckless (or intentional) transmission - with prior disclosure of HIV status or condom use a defence for recklessness. (All 20 prosecutions since 2003 have been for recklessness - intentional transmission is exceedingly rare.) Currently, prosecutions are very invasive for the complainant and the experience of many complainants is that they feel that justice could have been served in other ways. During a trial, they never really get to understand why they were 'betrayed' in terms of not being told about their partner's HIV-positive status. It is clear from many studies that HIV-related stigma (leading to denial or fear of loss of information, or violence as a consequence of disclosing) is a major barrier to open and honest discussion around HIV and risk. A restorative justice approach may help provide better closure for the complaint and help the accused come to terms with their HIV diagnosis. However, according to discussions with the CPS, the current charge of grievous bodily harm is considered too serious for a restorative justice approach.

Many thanks,
Edwin J Bernard
Co-ordinator, HIV Justice Network

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