Event & Research Paper: “Retribution vs Restoration” Symposium

Our first symposium of the year

Check out the photos from the Access Team’s first symposium of the year, “Retribution vs Restoration: What is the future of the prison system in New Zealand?” It was so popular we had attendees standing at the back! Thank you all for attending, including above all our very lively panel, which featured Justice Whata (High Court Judge), Marie Dyhrberg QC (Criminal Defence Lawyer), Annah Stretton (Founder of Reclaim Another Woman), Dr Fleur Te Aho (Law Professor at the University of Auckland), David Garrett (Former Act MP, Current Legal Counsel for Sensible Sentencing Trust), special guest Norefjell and our moderator, Judge Noel Sainsbury.

In the context of record high rates of incarceration (despite decreasing crime rates), significant overrepresentation of Maori in the Criminal Justice System, and the government’s (then) pending decision on whether to build the largest prison New Zealand has ever seen (which it has since decided against), EJP hosted a symposium to encourage us to think about what kind of society we want to live in – one with a punitive or rehabilitative focus?

Research suggests that a shift towards restorative justice, with increased focus on early intervention and rehabilitation, may lead to reduced recidivism, better outcomes for offenders, victims and communities, as well as lower costs in the Criminal Justice System overall.

Symposium Research Paper

You can view the symposium paper written and researched by Access volunteers here. This paper sets out the history and foundations of New Zealand’s Criminal Justice System. It then analyses the current practices we have in place, their effectiveness and how further processes and alternatives to current practices can be incorporated, in order to better address some of the underlying systemic issues.

Photos from the symposium