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Justice Lewandowski reiterates partnership with Restorative Justice project

The president of the National Justice Council (CNJ) and Chief Justice of the Federal Supreme Court, Ricardo Lewandowski, reiterated on Tuesday (05/12) his partnership with the Association of Brazilian Magistrates (ABM) in the effort to expand restorative justice. The practice consists in the peaceful resolution of conflicts through the meeting between the victim, the offender, the families and the community. He participated in the launch of the national campaign restorative justice of Brazil, which ABM launched on its website and on social networks.

"I would like to say of my great joy, my great satisfaction at being here to reconfirm my partnership with the Association of Brazilian Magistrates in this great project that is the Restorative Justice," said the minister, adding that the initiative is in tune with the National Conciliation Policy, created by the CNJ, and with the new Code of Civil Procedure. Both give priority to the peaceful resolution of conflicts.

"The CNJ has sponsored alternative forms of dispute resolution, especially in what we call available rights, which are the property rights, around which the parties can compromise. Today we have an important regulatory framework that is the mediation law. We also have the new Code of Civil Procedure, which requires that before a court decision there is a conciliation, conciliation attempt and mediation, only after the judicial sentence will have place, "he said.

The CNJ participates in the Restorative Justice project since August 2014, when a protocol was signed with the ABM and other institutions. The partnership seeks to disseminate this modality of peaceful conflict resolution throughout the country as a way to reduce the overload of lawsuits in the Judiciary, which are currently more or less 100 million. At the ceremony on Tuesday, the minister said he was proud to participate in this effort.

"I am very pleased to participate in this important initiative and I greet the President of the ABM, João Ricardo da Costa, for really carrying out this generous project, which already has deep roots in the area of childhood and youth, but now spreading to the criminal area and to other areas as well, "said Ricardo Lewandowski.
The ABM launched the national campaign as it commemorates 10 years of official introduction of Restorative Justice in the Country. This practice, initially adopted in Canada in the 1970s, is now adopted in 15 Brazilian states. It values people's autonomy and dialogue among them, creating opportunities for those involved and stakeholders (offender, victim, family and community) to talk and identify their unmet needs to restore harmony and balance. It is a community process, not just legal, led by a facilitator, usually a member of the community or even a professional.

Restorative Justice gives the community the power to resolve its own conflicts in meetings called restorative circles, where the parties are called to resolve social tensions generated by violence, crime or infractions. The priority is to repair damages, restore a sense of justice, and reintegrate everyone into your community.

In courts where Restorative Justice is implemented, the judge, upon receiving a court case, evaluates the case and verifies how affected parties can be called to rebuild their relationships. Voluntarily, those who accept to participate in the process are accompanied by professionals trained in the search for dialogue, where the victim and the aggressor have the opportunity to talk about the motivation of crime, the sequels and feelings with the objective of recovering the lost relationships. All this occurs without prejudice to the initiation of legal proceedings, in the civil or criminal area, and the punishment of the perpetrator.

The Restorative Justice experience can help those who have suffered from rape or conflict reduce their anger, insecurity, fears, resentments, and concerns.It assumes that most people feel relieved after talking about their feelings and claiming their damages to the perpetrator in a safe and secure environment.,

CNJ Resolution

A practice encouraged by the CNJ through the Cooperation Protocol for the Dissemination of Restorative Justice, signed in August of last year with the ABM, this project complies with Resolution CNJ n. 125/2010, which encourages the search for extrajudicial solutions to conflicts. The protocol signed in august articulated 20 federal institutions, UN agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to trigger a national movement aimed at the diffusion of Restorative Justice.

The campaign is organized in four stages: dissemination, internal institutional mobilization, external institutional mobilization and encouragement to the implementations of Restorative Justice. The planned actions involve launching a hotsite, creating publicity pieces, publicizing the campaign on social networks, formalizing institutional and academic partnerships, internal mobilization with associations and courts, training through the National School of Magistracy (ENM), between others. In this first phase, a large material on Restorative Justice will be distributed to the Brazilian judiciary, explaining its operation, the objectives, the judge's performance, Brazilian experiences with the practice and the work proposal.

Justice Ricardo Lewandowski emphasizes that the practice of restorative justice can be understood as a result of Resolution CNJ n. 125/2010, which aims to carry out the duty of judicial bodies to offer mechanisms for resolving conflicts through so-called consensual channels. "The importance of this process lies in being a way that helps the judiciary to contribute more effectively to social peace. The proposal is the adoption of the culture of self-composition to at least stimulate the rebalancing of social relations, in a movement of trying to recover the social fabric torn by the conflict, "he says.

The president of the AMB, João Ricardo Costa, explains that restorative practices are an important measure to combat the culture of judicialization and to unburden the judiciary. "This project reflects the interest of the entire magistrature in developing actions that can help in the jurisdictional provision in the country. Currently, Restorative Justice is very present in the field of juvenile justice, but we want to expand it to other instances of Criminal Justice. In many cases, before discussing legal issues, guilty and punishment, it is important to promote interventions to repair the damage done, in the care of the victim, in the co-responsibility of the aggressor, in the families and in the relationship cycles to restore a culture of peace and strengthen the society, "Costa said.

The Restorative Justice is already adopted in 15 states of the country. São Paulo, Rio Grande do Sul and the Federal District were the pioneers in the implementation of restorative practices and have built a new model in the functioning and performance of traditional justice, expanding the way the Judiciary has addressed the issue of conflicts and crimes, with a focus on people and relationships.

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