The declaration and introduction of Restorative Justice (RJ) during the 10th United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ) in 2000 in Vienna, Austria made the world officially acknowledge the idea and concept of restorative justice for the first time. In Thailand, due to the attendance of Thai representatives in the 10th CCPCJ, the restorative justice programs, therefore, started to become extensively well-known in criminal justice spheres since then. As an alternative to conflict resolution and alternative justice or unconventional justice supporting the mainstream of criminal justice system, there were attempts to use RJ programs in various levels, i.e. community, school and criminal justice system, especially its implementation in agencies providing probation service and tackling domestic violence problem. However, since RJ was not a mainstream justice, its popularity seemed to decline within 5 years and later disappeared from both academic and practical views.
RJ has returned to come under the spotlight in Thailand again in 2016 and this time could be called as ‘the rebirth of RJ. Following the global trend in many international conferences, in particular the 12th United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in Doha, Qatar, RJ has been well recognized and gained positive feedbacks from the mainstream criminal justice agencies. The re-born restorative justice also reflects in the growing adoption of RJ in community, as well as the expansion of community justice and increasing interests among scholars in universities and academic institutions for doing study and research on restorative justice.
Accordingly, it is very intriguing to keep an eye on this rebirth of RJ whether it could develop to become the mainstream criminal justice or not, or how far it could become a sustainable unconventional justice in Thai society.
The Re-birth of Restorative Justice in Thailand