International Restorative Justice week 2020: The post COVID19 era

Happy International Restorative Justice Week 2020!

First, congratulations to all the practitioners, researchers and campaigners who kept the restorative justice flame burning. It is important for everyone who works within the restorative justice movement to pause and take stock of what we have done (or not done), and this week is a unique opportunity to do so. I have been writing an annual #RJweek blog since 2012, when I first thought that restorative justice should be celebrated not only in Canada, but around the world. I was a guest at my friend's (Dr. Evelyn Zellerer) house in Vancouver, as I was visiting after an invitation from Dr. Brenda Morrison to give a lecture as part of the Bruce and Lis Welch Community Dialogue. This was held in partnership with the SFU Centre for Restorative Justice (for my #RJweek blog 2017 here, 2016 here, 2015 here).

Times were different then, but this year has been particularly hard as the world experienced a pandemic, which forced us to learn not only how to live and work differently, but also how to co-exist in confined places. The lockdown (which is far from over) has had multiple impacts with many vulnerable women, children and ... yes ... men suffering increased domestic violence and new forms of abuse. It is also expected that COVID19's socio-economic impact will be as detrimental as its health and death implications, compared only with the aftermath of World War II.

As the post COVID19 era is upon us, I must ask what the role of restorative justice is in bringing healing and restoration to the suffering that we have all experienced at a personal, community, national and international levels. As part of this questioning, I have launched a new Call for Paper for a Special Issue that Laws Journal has agreed to publish next year. I welcome all sorts of contributions - see here.