Victim Liaison Conference

Victim Liaison Conference
Mediation Support -Restorative Technology Ltd presentation followed this one on 15th July 2011

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Seeking clarity of the law in relation to mediating in the wake of no CPS charges eg Hastings Pier

> To Amber Rudd, MP
> House of Commons
>
> Dear Amber
>
> We met at your surgery this morning at Leonie's; which I came to in order to follow up my letter in 10th June Observer: "We need to act if we want justice" .
> I copy this letter to my work email, my sometime colleagues and to the chair of the HPWRT, in order that he may update the Trustees on this justice issue.
>
> A major obstacle to communication between those who were on the pier on 5th October 2011 and the wider community is the lack of clarity around the legal status of what they would disclose. Firstly, would the mediation service involved have an obligation to disclose certain information to the police? Secondly, would any attempt at communication -through whatever channels- risk prosecution? A letter from a minister, the attorney general and/or the CPS is what I'm seeking for clarification, so that I may then provide it to those who were on the pier that night, and we progress from there.
>
> Many victims and communities across the UK experience a lack of power when the CPS case is dropped pre-court or even a case collapsing in court. Enabling more "victims" in these circumstances to have recourse to mediation would be a great way forward in strengthening the Big Society. At present, it would be unlikely that any individuals who have <got-off> would risk communicating with their accusers, because the risks are not yet clear and the benefits of restorative justice processes are generally not well-communicated to those accused of crimes.
>
> As I said in my letter, it may be years before those on the pier that night are ready for the communication about what they did, why they did it and what they are going to do to address the impact on the community.
> This process will be further delayed if there is not the basic level of clarity for all involved in mediation about the legal position of the communications being had.
>
> Now that that communication is moving more to the internet, with "victims" uploading video statements and "offenders" uploading apology messages, it is more than timely for Hastings to lead in getting clarity around the legal position of internet communications involving mediation services.
>
> If there is to be no immunity from prosecution for things disclosed during a mediation/restorative justice process, at least all will know where they stand in their choices whether or not to answer the questions being asked of them by the community and take other reparative actions requested of them.
>
> Amongst those working with me to get communications to those on the pier that night is Ray Chapman, HPWRT chair; a video of his to these individuals having just been published (9th May) on http://sussexcommunity.blogspot.com
>
> This matter will hang over a number of lives for some-time to come, so clarity is for the well-being of all.
>
> I omitted to ask you this morning for any advice on the funding opportunities for voluntary sector and social enterprise work in restorative justice, seeking, as does the best work, in my opinion to:
> -repair harm
> -restore dignity
> & re-integrate into a community that cares.
> (The reduced offending evidence is clear and available separately.)
> My funding from the National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts to pursue the video messaging and mediated text-based messaging sits under the name heading Restorative Technology Ltd. This funding is almost at an end, yet my passion to build dialogue about what kinds of justice we want in the community in which we live does not run out.
>
> Yours sincerely
> Paul Crosland
>
> CEO, Mediation Support Ltd
> Southwater Area Community Centre,
> 2 Stainsby Street,
> St Leonards On Sea,
> East Sussex,
> TN37 6LA
>
> SUBSCRIBE to free updates from Mediation Support Ltd: http://www.mediationsupport.info/subscribenewsletter.html

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