Can the government better meet the justice needs of victims through a restorative approach?

Miss Annaliese Wilson1
1Office of the Chief Victims Advisor to Government , Wellington , New Zealand

In both the Australian and New Zealand criminal justice systems, victims have little opportunity to be involved in their own case, or when they are involved, are not able to determine the nature or extent of their involvement. Many victims who have gone through the court process report that they have a limited ability to achieve a personal sense of justice and feel they are often side-lined. This can result in secondary victimisation and feelings of injustice.

This overarching theme of this discussion will be how governments can better meet the justice needs of victims through a restorative approach. Specifically, this discussion will explore victims’ justice needs, how a restorative approach can address these needs, and if a restorative approach is the best way to meet victims’ justice needs, especially for family violence victims.

The New Zealand Government has committed to criminal justice reform and will be launching a public conversation on new ideas to reform the criminal justice system.  I will discuss how repairing the harm caused to victims through a restorative approach could be central to any such reform.


Annaliese Wilson is an advisor at the Ministry of Justice in New Zealand and supports the Chief Victims Advisor to Government. Annaliese has a multidisciplinary background having studied in criminology, anthropology, and political science at Victoria University of Wellington. She has recently completed a Graduate Certificate in Restorative Justice Practice at the School of Government within Victoria University.


The society is devoted to promoting criminological study, research and practice in the region and bringing together persons engaged in all aspects of the field. The membership of the society reflects the diversity of persons involved in the field, including practitioners, academics, policy makers and students.

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