Law professor who pioneered restorative justice draws donation for new centre


A law professor says she hopes the creation of a research lab aimed at promoting restorative justice will help institutions start tackling racial discrimination and other social problems in a lasting way.

Jennifer Llewellyn said Wednesday that protests against anti-Black racism have made her announcement Wednesday of the new centre at Dalhousie University particularly ``timely.''

The International Restorative Research, Innovation and Education Lab has attracted $750,000 from the Donald R. Sobey Foundation as an initial investment.

In an era of harsh debate on social media, Llewellyn - who will chair the centre at the Schulich school of law - argues restorative justice is an alternative approach where people who are harmed and people responsible for harm talk to one another with the goal of creating solutions.
She says a method best known for its role in the criminal justice system and as an alternative approach in school discipline can also create ways to correct ``big, complex problems.''

The professor says there's a public misconception that restorative justice is focused on ``calming down'' angry situations, rather than on changing systems.