Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Law

Research Student: Ian D. Marder

Coordinating and delivering restorative justice practices in the English and Welsh criminal justice process: Comparing localised approaches

Photo of Ian D. Marder

Investment by the Ministry of Justice and Police and Crime Commissioners in recent years has resulted in the development of a variety of localised approaches to the coordination and delivery of restorative justice practices (RJ). In many parts of England and Wales, the use of RJ is rapidly becoming a mainstream response to antisocial behaviour, neighbourhood disputes and low-level offending, with some areas also increasing the use of RJ at the post-sentence stage. While the potential benefits of RJ for participants are increasingly being established by research, there are also a number of risks inherent in this approach, and many studies have identified a gap between the theoretical principles of RJ and the way that it is used in practice. These principles are significant to both research and practice because they have been linked empirically to the safety and effectiveness of RJ. In spite of this, little research has been conducted into the attitudes and experiences of the individuals most responsible for the implementation of these principles, namely practitioners and local policymakers.

This study will start by analysing national and local policies on RJ coordination and delivery. It will also involve around 90 interviews with facilitators and local policymakers from the statutory- and third-sector across three sites with different models of delivery. These are to be supplemented by surveys with voluntary and statutory-sector facilitators. The research will focus primarily on the use of RJ as a diversion from the criminal justice process, and therefore the police will be the main focus within the statutory sector. The objective is to identify the enablers of, and barriers to, the implementation of RJ principles in the course of its coordination and delivery.

The research is funded by a scholarship from the Economics and Social Research Council, and will involve a three-month Visiting Scholarship position at the University of Leuven between October 2015 and January 2016.


I have previously conducted research in the field of restorative justice for Restorative Solutions CIC, the Restorative Justice Council and Search for Common Ground. I have also researched in the field of social finance for both the Ecology Building Society and 5000PLUS, and on the subject of disaster risk reduction and disarmament for the United Nations Office for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC).

I am a Graduate Teaching Assistant for the University of Leeds’ School of Law, delivering lectures and seminars in undergraduate modules relating to youth crime and victimology.

I am also the founder of the Community of Restorative Researchers, an interdisciplinary, interprofession research network. The purpose of the network is to enhance communication and collaboration between researchers, policymakers, practitioners and project managers. Please search “Community of Restorative Researchers” on Facebook and LinkedIn, or email me on i.marder@leeds.ac.uk for more information.

Selected Publications

Marder, I. (forthcoming, 2015) “’Crimes against Peace’ and International Law by Kirsten Sellars” Asian Journal of International Law (book review)

Marder, I. (2014) “Opportunities to use Restorative Justice in the Moroccan Criminal Justice Process” Search for Common Ground Maghreb, 31 pages. Available as a free download at https://www.sfcg.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Opportunities-to-use-Restorative-Justice-in-the-Moroccan-Criminal-Justice-Process.pdf

Marder, I. (2014) “Waves of Healing: Using Restorative Justice for Street Group Violence by Theo Gavrielides” Restorative Justice, Vol. 2, Issue 1, pp.103-106 (book review)

Marder, I. (2013) “Restorative Justice for Young Adults: Factoring in Maturity and Facilitating Desistance” T2A Alliance/Barrow Cadbury Trust: London, 28 pages. Available as a free download at http://rjc.org.uk/news/untapped/#.UZ5_erW1EaA

Marder, I. (2013) “Restorative Justice and Young Adults: The Benefits of a Fresh Approach”, Criminal Law and Justice Weekly, Vol. 177, p.452

Marder, I. (2013) “Pre-sentence Restorative Justice: An International Perspective”, Magistrate Magazine, April 2013, p.22

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