In search of legitimacy: restorative youth conferencing in Northern Ireland

Author(s) Doak, Jonathan and O'Mahony, D.
Title In search of legitimacy: restorative youth conferencing in Northern Ireland
Source Legal Studies, Article first published online (advance of print): 28 Jan 2011
Date 2011
Document type Journal article
Coverage Northern Ireland
Summary This article examines the extent to which restorative justice arrangements both reflect and move forward the legitimising outcomes of the Criminal Justice Review in Northern Ireland. The notion of legitimacy is explored and a number of components of the youth conferencing arrangements are discussed within this framework. The article re-analyses a previous major evaluation of the scheme and is supplemented by interviews with participants and stakeholders. It is concluded that the Northern Ireland youth conferencing programs hold a real potential to bolster levels of legitimacy in the criminal justice system. It is expected that over time the increased opportunities for engagement between wide ranges of community based stakeholders will allow for a better sense of procedural justice to develop within the community that has felt in the past estranged from the criminal justice system. The criminal justice system is given an opportunity to be seen as more legitimate as it becomes more effective at preventing crime and assisting victims and communities.
Keywords Youth conferencing; restorative justice; victim participation
Topic Restorative justice