In the past decade, the international restorative justice community has been discussing with some degree of intensity issues related to the use of restorative justice approaches with sensitive and complex cases, including cases of harmful sexual behaviour, sexual violence and domestic violence. In Europe, there have been many collaborative initiatives that have looked for research evidence and providing practitioners with specialist training, some of which can be accessed on the website of the European Forum for Restorative Justice Forum. In the UK, after a series of public events and debates on the topic, the Restorative Justice Council has set up a working group that is currently focusing on developing particular guidance for Intermediate and Advanced Registered Practitioners managing sensitive and complex cases; as a network of restorative justice practitioners, we welcome and look forward to the RJC guidance on this topic. So we believe it is very timely for our East Midlands Restorative Justice Forum members and friends to meet and discuss the challenges that we are facing when dealing with sensitive and complex cases, and what constitutes best restorative justice practice in this area.
Our meeting on 20th April 2021 will gather a vast range of professionals from across the East Midlands, including restorative justice services, victim services, youth justice services, police, and specialist sexual and domestic violence services. It is by far the largest number of guests that our EMRJ Forum meetings have hosted, and we are delighted to see such great interest in the topic. We also have the pleasure of welcoming as key speakers our colleagues from Restorative Gloucestershire, Sarah Cairns, Paul Mukasa and Jude Perez, as well as Charlotte Calkin, Director of the Restorative Engagement Forum. We hope that the discussions will provide our members and guests with an opportunity to network and learn from one another, and create an open dialogue on how best to improve and add value to our existing restorative justice delivery in sensitive and complex cases.