This module is a resource for lecturers   


Guidelines to develop a stand-alone course


This Module provides an outline for a three-hour course. It has the potential, however, to be developed into a stand-alone course. The information in each section and sub-section could easily be developed and expanded, and further debated and discussed by students. The structure could be determined by local interests and needs, but a possible structure is presented below.



Brief description

Week 1

Introduction: The criminal justice system and the various justice needs

Introduction of the Module and lecture on the criminal justice system, the role of punishment and discuss the meaning of justice. Exercise 1 on the meaning of justice. Lecture and discuss the justice needs of victims, offenders and other stakeholders. Invite a criminal justice professional, e.g. a judge and discuss about the judicial decision-making process. Exercise 2 on victim impact statement

Week 2

Concept and origin of restorative justice

Lecture on the conceptual framework of restorative justice, its origin and development in different parts of the world.

Week 3

International framework and safeguards of restorative justice

Lecture on international standards and their influence on restorative justice, as well as the safeguards set out in the Basic Principles.

Week 4

Findings from research and evaluation

Lecture on international research findings relating to participant satisfaction and impact on recidivism. Discussion on research findings in own countries.

Week 5

Models of restorative justice

Lecture on the various restorative justice processes, e.g. victim-offender mediation/dialogue, conferencing, circles by highlighting country examples. Invite a restorative justice practitioner to discuss with students about benefits for primary parties and challenges in his/her work.

Week 6

Use of restorative justice in criminal justice systems

Lecture on the implementation of restorative justice processes at various stages of the criminal justice system by referring to examples from different countries. Lecture and discussion on application to serious crime and in the context of gender-based violence.

Week 7

Cost effectiveness and issues in implementing restorative justice

Lecture on research findings on cost effectiveness. Lecture and discussion on challenges in implementing restorative justice, for example with regard to legislation, access and awareness. Highlight country examples.


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