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Restorative justice debate

11 January 2017

The Justice Committee's report on restorative justice will be debated in Westminster Hall on Thursday 12 January, from 1.30–3.00pm. Members of the public are welcome to attend the debate at Westminster: it can also be followed online. The report was published in July 2016 and received a Government response in November.

Dialogue between offenders and victims

Dialogue between an offender and their victim is central to restorative justice, which the Ministry of Justice defines as follows:

The process that brings those harmed by crime, and those responsible for the harm, into communication, enabling everyone affected by a particular incident to play a part in repairing the harm and finding a positive way forward.

The Committee's report found that restorative justice provides "benefits in both reductions in reoffending and in providing tangible benefits to victims", though it will not be appropriate in every case, and made recommendations to improve its provision.


The Government's response accepted seven of the 15 recommendations, including that the Ministry of Justice continue to provide long-term funding for restorative justice to Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs). It did not, however, agree to provide direct funding to providers to enable local awareness campaigns, saying this was a matter for PCCs, or commit to publishing and promoting clear guidance for commissioners of restorative justice services of what constitutes a successful restorative justice scheme. These and other issues may be explored further in the debate.

Westminster Hall

Westminster Hall is the name for the House of Commons' parallel second chamber, which first sat in 1999. It hosts debates initiated by backbench MPs, and on select committee reports and e-petitions. Only MPs may participate in debates, and the rules and procedures of these are similar to those of general debates in the main Chamber.

Some sitting Thursdays in Westminster Hall are reserved for debates on recent select committee reports. These typically last 90 minutes or 3 hours, are led by the Chair of the relevant committee, and are responded to by an appropriate Minister; other members of the committee and of the House may participate, and the main opposition parties are normally represented. Select committees often use these debates as an additional mechanism to highlight their evidence and recommendations, and hold Government to account on its response.

Further information

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