On 2 and 3 September, the ICJ held a workshop on “the Rule of Law and Strengthening the Administration of Justice in the Context of Restorative Justice” for members of the Thai judiciary.
The workshop was held in Chiang Mai.
Twenty-two judges attended the workshop, with an observer from the Thailand Institute of Justice (TIJ).
The objective of the workshop was to discuss how to best apply international standards of restorative justice within Thailand’s justice system.
Restorative justice is based on the fundamental principle that criminal behavior not only violates the law, but also injures victims and the community.
A restorative process is any process in which the victim and the offender and, where appropriate, any other individuals or community members affected by a crime participate together actively in the resolution of matters arising from the crime, with the help of a facilitator.
Frederick Rawski, Regional Director of ICJ Asia and the Pacific, recognized in his opening statement that implementation of restorative justice, including constructive non-custodial sentencing and measures, could assist in combating the problem of overcrowding in detention facilities in the North of Thailand, particularly with respect to drug-dependent offenders.
The workshop made reference to the United Nations Declaration of Basic Principles on the Use of Restorative Justice Programmes in Criminal Matters, which was adopted by the United Nations Economic and Social Council in 2002.
Speakers at the Workshop included Chief Justice Somnuk Panich from Office of the Chief Justice Region V, who formally opened the workshop, Judge Dr. Dol Bunnag, Presiding Judge of Intellectual Property and International Trade Court, who summarized the landscape of restorative justice in Thailand, and Judge Sir David James Carruthers from New Zealand, an international expert on restorative justice in New Zealand.
ICJ’s Senior International Legal Adviser Kingsley Abbott moderated the two-day workshop.
The ICJ ended the workshop with a statement reiterating its commitment towards working with Thailand’s judiciary to strengthen the rule of law and administration of justice in Thailand.NewsWeb stories