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<xTITLE>The Virtual World of Restorative Justice Lives at RJ City</xTITLE>

The Virtual World of Restorative Justice Lives at RJ City

by Victoria Pynchon

From Settle It Now Negotiation Blog

Victoria Pynchon

(above chart by Ron Claassen at the Fresno Pacific Center for Peacemaking & Conflict Studies)

If yesterday's post sparked an interest in Restorative Justice, you might mosey on over to RJ City to "help build the future of justice."   

Yes, everything in my conflict resolution and thinking arises from the Straus Institute where I took Dan Van Ness' class on Restorative Justice and was first introduced to the concept of "RJ City," which I'm thrilled to see so fully commenced below:

What is the RJ City Project?

RJ City is a research and design project created to explore what seems to be a gap between the claims that restorative justice offers an alternative approach to conflict, crime and justice on one hand, and the rather limited use of restorative programmes in most countries on the other.

The project takes what is currently known about restorative justice and in a disciplined way tests the boundaries of that knowledge. This will force discussion of issues not ordinarily addressed, such as whether it can respond effectively to high volumes of cases, the social chaos and disintegration in parts of society, and the high value given to individual rights in the Western world.

Is this negotiation, you ask, or some la-la kum-by-ya new age nonsense? 

No, this is the future in which litigation will be the alternative form of dispute resolution and negotiation the dominant, first-choice, go-to norm.  It's also the future's future in which crime will be addressed through institutions designed to encourage accountability, reparations, amends, forgiveness and reconciliation.

If you're settling litigation, you're already involved in a conflict arising from a "civil" crime against you or your property.  To reach an accommodation with the perpetrator of that civil wrong, it helps to learn the practices and principles of restorative justice. 


Attorney-mediator Victoria Pynchon is a panelist with ADR Services, Inc. Ms. Pynchon was awarded her LL.M Degree in Dispute Resolution from the Straus Institute in May of 2006, after 25 years of complex commercial litigation practice, with sub-specialties in intellectual property, securities fraud, antitrust, insurance coverage, consumer class actions and all types of business torts and contract disputes.  During her two years of full-time neutral practice, she has co-mediated both mandatory and voluntary settlement conferences with Los Angeles Superior Court Judges Alexander Williams, III and Victoria Chaney.  As a result of her work with Judge Chaney in the Complex Court at Central Civil West, Ms. Pynchon has gained significant experience mediating construction defect litigation.  Ms. Pynchon received her J.D., Order of the Coif, from the U.C. Davis School of Law. 

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