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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Undergraduate Course: Restorative justice: principles and practice (LAWS10251)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course will expose students to the theory and practice of RJ. Students will then be allocated to teams of 5-6. In their teams, students will be presented with a number of simulated but realistic scenarios each involving behaviour that is anti-social and/or criminal. Using the principles addressed in the induction students will be given 2 RJ scenarios which will require them to assess the suitability of, conduct and evaluate a variety of RJ approaches including conferencing. The course will be front-loaded with a day-long induction (or two half-days if preferable) for students.

We will work closely with statutory bodies and other organisations in the not for profit sector some of whom have already expressed interest in collaboration, particularly the Social Work Department of the University and the Justice Directorate of the Scottish Government and their access to justice and youth offending teams. The relevant legal knowledge examined is likely to overlap with or otherwise complement studies elsewhere in the undergraduate programme providing a unique opportunity for students to apply legal relevant principles - for example demonstrating their understanding of criminal law and procedure, philosophy of punishment and human rights.

Subject to accreditation requirements of the Restorative Justice Council (and/or a similar body currently under discussion for Scotland) students (and those interested persons outside the University) may be awarded credit for successfully completing this and possibly related continuing professional development offerings.
Course description The course will commence with an overview of the philosophy and theoretical principles underlying RJ is and how it can be used as an alternative form of intervention and dispute resolution. The processes followed in a RJ approach will also be examined. Equipped with this foundation students will then undertake a minimum of 2 case studies where they will be required to prepare for and conduct RJ sessions. Reflection will be encouraged through plenary sessions and through compilation of a reflective journal covering individual and group activity and evaluation. Past experience suggests that a range of people and groups are likely to be involved including school pupils, young offenders, neighbours and (possibly, although it is potentially contentious) members of families where there is discord.

For the purposes of this course proposal the case studies will simulate reality using case studies from such groupings. The Scottish government (Justice Directorate) has already expressed strong interest in working with the School on the RJ initiative and links have already been established with the Scottish RJ Forum. In time this may provide a launchpad for more RJ work and possibly a training facility providing CPD potential.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Commercial Law (Ordinary) (LAWS08131)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Spaces on this course are allocated as part of the Law Honours Course Allocation process. Places are generally only available to students who must take Law courses. To request a space on this course, please email
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
identify, analyse and apply appropriately law and policy on RJ including its relationship with more traditional means of disposal in criminal cases and its suitability in a civil context.
Reading List
Rania Hamad, Joanna Shapland, Steve Kirkwood, Catherine Bisset & Ella Edginton, Designing and Implementing Restorative Justice in Scotland 2020,Scottish Restorative Justice Forum, 2020
Angela Sorsby, Gwen Robinson and Joanna Shapland, Restorative Justice in Practice: evaluating what works for victims and offenders,Routledge, 2011
Other resources will be referred to during the course.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills To identify the legal framework applicable to given scenarios in terms of accountability and dispute resolution methods and to research and record accurately relevant sources of law and policy.
To meet LOs 1 and 2 in both self-study and working team settings and to critically reflect on the relevance and appropriateness of RJ in given circumstances.
To exercise autonomy and initiative in the activities involved in the course. To manage time to enable the timely completion of work with a view to relevant deadlines. To work effectively as part of a team. To manage professional relationships with peers and supervisors and client groups.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMs Rebecca Samaras
Tel: (0131 6)50 6524
Course secretaryMiss Susie Morgan
Tel: (0131 6)50 2339
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