Skip to content

UoG academic adds expert voice to new Parliamentary report into UK restorative justice system

The University of Gloucestershire’s Dr Jonathan Hobson has contributed to a new Parliamentary report examining the restorative justice system within the UK and making recommendations to Government to improve performance and outcomes.

Dr Hobson, Associate Professor of Social Sciences, was appointed to the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Restorative Justice’s Advisory Board in recognition of his extensive research and expertise within the field of restorative justice and restorative practices.

Restorative justice is the broad philosophy which argues that those most affected by harm and conflict should be involved in communicating the causes and/or consequences and empowered to make decisions about how to respond to that harm and/or resolve conflict.

Restorative practice includes all of those activities used to create a culture to proactively prevent harm and create resilient communities. This can include, but is not limited to, restorative dialogue, restorative leadership techniques, direct and indirect restorative processes.

In his role on the Advisory Board, which includes academics and practitioners, Dr Hobson organised and participated in an oral evidence session to Parliament to help inform the APPG’s recommendations to the Government in its report.

Dr Hobson said:

“This report is timely contribution to the growing evidence base for restorative justice and restorative practices. At the university, we are proud to be working with practitioners, academics, and members of Parliament to support the development and provision of restorative services. These services, when funded and run properly, consistently show a benefit to those impacted by crime and harmful behaviour.”

The APPG’s key recommendations to the Government include an action plan to raise awareness amongst the public of restorative justice and practice; the appointment of a Government minister with responsibility for restorative justice; and a new Victims’ Law that should include a specific right for victims access restorative justice services.

APPG Chairman, Elliot Colburn MP, said: “As Chair of the APPG I welcome the report’s findings and very much look forward to acting upon the recommendations.

“I will now work with the Vice-Chairs and all other Members of the APPG for Restorative Justice, as well as our Advisory Board to make a compelling case to the Government for reform in this sector.”

Dr Hobson’s work in the area has included studies into restorative youth interventions, restorative programmes in supported housing, the development of restorative justice services, and examining the power of restorative justice to support and maintain peace in post-conflict situations.

Dr Hobson leads the University of Gloucestershire’s ‘Advanced Restorative Practitioner Postgraduate Certificate’, the first in the country that allows practitioners to achieve advanced practitioner recognition from the Restorative Justice Council UK alongside their academic study.

Dr Jonathan Hobson
Dr Jonathan Hobson, Associate Professor of Social Sciences