Beyond Restorative Justice: Conflict resolution within an institutional ethos of respect

Ms Rosalie Martin, Rob  White
University of Tasmania

Restorative justice as a concept and practice typically relates to conflict resolution. From juvenile conferencing involving young offenders to group mediation processes in schools, RJ is utilised as a progressive model of interaction, inclusiveness and reparation. This paper considers particular forms of ‘discipline’ used in a primary school in Tasmania. The point is not to simply describe an example of conflict resolution however. Rather, our intention is to situate this within the context of a whole-of-school restorative ethos. Based upon the concept of respect, this ethos shapes both the need for intervention (in the sense of demand), and the mechanisms for doing so when it is deemed necessary (that is, the form that ‘punishment’ takes). Crafting respect is an intentional, institutionally driven process – one that instils positive values and behaviour into the fabric of everyday interaction. Going beyond restorative justice effectively means diminishing the conflicts that require resolution in the first place.


Rosalie Martin is a criminologist, facilitator of reflective dialogue, and clinical speech pathologist of 34 years. In 2013 Rosalie founded a charity, Chatter Matters Tasmania, to bring literacy and parent-child attachment programs to Tasmania’s Risdon Prison. She was awarded 2017 Tasmanian Australian of the Year for the work she began at the prison. Rosalie is grateful for the platform this recognition has given to promote the value of kind communication in evidence-based service delivery.

Rob White is Professor of Criminology at the University of Tasmania



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