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Cath Everett

Sift Media

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

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News: Collaborative Justice Institute unveiled

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In a bid to offer an alternative to traditional adversarial justice, a newly-created institute is aiming to promote the practice of ‘collaborative justice’ instead.

The goal of the not-for-profit organisation is to bring practitioners, policy makers, leaders, scholars and other interested parties together in order to find ways of resolving conflict using techniques such as coaching, employee and community engagement and transformational leadership.
 
David Liddle, chief executive of mediation and dispute resolution provider, TCM Group, made the case for the creation of a ‘Collaborative Justice Institute’ in a post on LinkedIn, where a dedicated group has been set up to this end.
 
Although he believes that adversarial behaviour is “’hard wired’ and habitual”, he felt that collaborative justice offered a “chance to break the cycle”.
 
“The rise of ADR [alternative dispute resolution] (particularly mediation) is proof that society is desperate for an alternative way to resolve our quarrels. And the dispute resolution revolution is happening fast,” Liddle attested.
 
While it had taken just 30 years for society to embrace ADR, it had, on the other hand, had more than 2,000 to perfect adversarial justice. But Liddle perceived collaborative justice to be more than a simple alternative or counter-weight to established practice.
 
“The two forms of justice need to co-exist in a real and a meaningful way,” he said. “However, for that to happen, we (you, me society) need to rethink what justice means to us and to open our minds to the possibility that collaboration and dialogue are equal or better ways of meeting our needs than engaging in adversarial procedures.”
 
This was because such approaches focused on engaging all parties directly in decision-making, change management, dispute resolution and building stronger teams and communities, Liddle added.
 
In order to make the concept a reality, he is calling on volunteers to offer their fundraising, web design and maintenance, communications, PR and seminar and conference planning skills, with the goal of launching a web site in the near future.
 
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Cath Everett

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

Read more from Cath Everett
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