Rethinking Justice: Jennifer Llewellyn to Lead the First International Restorative Justice Lab

The Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University has launched the first international restorative justice lab in the world. The Restorative Research, Innovation & Education Lab (RRIELab) will be led by renowned global leader in restorative justice, Dalhousie Professor Jennifer Llewellyn and will aim to transform justice practices in communities, institutions, and organizations across Canada. Funding for the lab was provided by the Donald R. Sobey Foundation.

Restorative justice provides a human-centered approach to justice that focuses on addressing the individual and collective harms caused by wrongdoing in a holistic, non-adversarial way. Restorative justice encourages meaningful engagement and accountability, and provides an opportunity for healing, reparation, and reintegration.

“With Jennifer Llewellyn’s lead, Nova Scotia has the opportunity to become a national and international leader in restorative justice,” said Wagners’ lawyer Raymond Wagner. “Restorative Justice is an important tool in the civil legal context, especially class actions, for responding to claims regarding systemic discrimination, institutional abuses and historical wrongs. It is about resolving more than just the individual legal claims and ensuring that participants in the justice system are heard, acknowledged, their harms collectively addressed, and that their past suffering makes a difference in how we move forward.”

“In this moment in our history, as we confront the pandemics of COVID-19 and anti-Black racism, we can see clearly that our current ways of doing things are not working,” remarked Professor Llewellyn. “We must support and sustain this new vision of justice to ensure it makes a difference throughout our systems, organizations and institutions.”

Wagners law firm has consulted and worked with Professor Llewellyn in the resolution of various class proceedings which seek to address systemic discrimination and historical abuse. Of particular note, restorative justice informed the resolution of the class action lawsuit regarding the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children. Following this class action settlement, Llewellyn designed and served as Commissioner for the first ever restorative public inquiry in Canada. Information on the Restorative Inquiry can be found HERE.

Wagners offers its’ utmost congratulations to Professor Llewellyn in her appointment as lead in the RRIELab and looks forward to supporting this project that is so important for Nova Scotians, Canadians, and justice globally. The time is now to evaluate our justice system and use restorative approaches to reform and transform our relationships, communities, systems and institutions.

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