Hebron University College of Law and Political Science hosted Dr. Ali Wardak, Professor of Criminology and Victimology at the University of South Wales, UK, who gave a lecture for students and faculty on “The Idea and Practice of Restorative Justice”. The purpose of the lecture was to raise awareness on restorative justice as the most contemporary theory in the field of criminology, and to assist policymakers in Palestine to study the possibility of integrating restorative processes in the domestic criminal justice system.
Professor Wardak said that, despite the recent experience of restorative justice in the Anglo-Saxon countries such as Canada and New Zealand as well as Australia and Britain, it is embedded in the traditions of indigenous cultures. Unlike retributive justice, restorative justice looks at the reasons for committing crimes and provides alternatives to punishments by looking at the social, psychological and economic conditions that led to the commission of the crime. It offers suitable responses through the involvement of all concerned stakeholders, such as family, relatives, friends, and neighbors. Restorative justice provides effective remedies to the victim rather than focusing on imprisonment or revenge. The roots of restorative justice do exist in the tribal traditions of Palestine. It is also an integral part of Islamic jurisprudence which aims to prevent crimes and offer justice to victims; restorative-like measures in jurisprudence includes blood money (‘diya’ or compensation), conciliation, pardon, repentance, intercession, apology, and curfew; well-known methods in the contemporary theories of restorative justice.
The visit of Professor Wardak came upon the invitation of Dr. Mutaz Qafisheh, Dean of Hebron Law School, and in coordination with Terre des hommes, Lausanne. Wardak was accompanied by Mr. Joseph Aguetta, TDH Director in Palestine. The session was moderated by Dr. Morad El-Sana, Assistant Professor of International Law at Hebron University and a specialist of human rights and the law of indigenous peoples in both North America and Palestine/Israel.