The restorative justice pilot project is a court-annexed program with the goal of referring appropriate matters that are before the courts to a restorative justice process.
The first phase of the project will only involve criminal matters, but it is hoped that later phases will expand restorative practices into family and civil matters as well.
For the criminal pilot project, the Committee has agreed upon a set of referral guidelines to provide some context to justice system participants about what restorative justice is, some of its benefits, and how referrals can be made. In a nutshell, any individual charged with a criminal offence who accepts responsibility for the harm caused, may be eligible for a referral to a restorative justice process. This could occur at any point from post-charge to pre-sentencing.
The Committee organizing this project include judges from the Court of Queen’s Bench and Provincial Court, crown prosecutors, defence counsel, Indigenous groups, victims’ rights groups, restorative justice practitioners, policing agencies, and many other stakeholders in the community.