Institute of Conflict Resolution

About us      Mission      Projects      Conferences     Campaigns    Publications

Academic program     Consultancy & Training     News     Contacts     Links     Home


 

1. Promotion of Restorative Justice in Bulgaria (own project)

Towards the  end of  the  twentieth century a new type of conflict  resolution has emerged rivalling  the  traditional approach of  legal settlement. Consensual models of conflict resolution are being propagated as alternatives to  the  classical pattern of confrontation. This  development has been variously described  as community justice, restorative justice, informal justice etc.
Restorative justice is  regarded as an alternative model  of criminal justice. It is  defined  as a unique response to  crime to be distinguished  from both  the  rehabilitative and retributive  responses. The  emphasis  in this  model is on  reparation and  prevention  rather than on the infliction of punishment. The  model offers victims more  control over the decision-making mechanism  than traditional  procedure. It  mobilizes the local community in addressing  crime  problems.
 Restorative justice  is  a new idea for the Bulgarian experience. The  numerous advantages of  this form of justice are  unknown  for the  general  public as well as  for  the  lawyers.
 At  the  same time the  crisis in  the  functioning  of the  criminal justice system  in Bulgaria  is  generally recognized. Particularly  deep is  the dissatisfaction of the  victims who  are largely neglected. The extremely long, tortuous  trial often causes  secondary victimization.

 The Institute considers that restorative justice is the  relevant  response  to  the  needs of society  and Bulgarian criminal justice system. The  information  campaign, educational  program, workshop etc. to  be launched in the  framework of  this  project aim to  increase public awareness of the  benefits of restorative justice. The  training in law faculties in  the  principles of restorative justice will  create  an environment  that  is  friendly  and  favorable to this new idea. Special  attention will be  paid to  dissemination of this  knowledge among   policy-makers, legal  practitioners,  police officers, social workers  and members of  NGOs. The  study visits to countries  with long-standing  traditions in  restorative justice will help in the training of professionals ready to  implement  restorative justice  principles  in  practice. The  research work to be undertaken has as an objective further  development of the restorative justice theory  and  practice and formulation of   proposals  de  lege ferenda. Our  long-term goal is to promote restorative justice  to  be established as a  form of criminal  justice process.

2. COST Action A 21- Restorative Justice Developments in Europe ( 2002 - 2006 )

In partnership with researchers  from  20  European countries

Coordinator: Prof. Ivo  Aertsen, Catholic University  of Leuven,  Belgium

According to the Memorandum of Understanding, the main objective of the Action is to enhance and to deepen knowledge on theoretical and practical aspects of restorative justice in Europe, with a view to supporting implementation strategies in a scientifically sound way.
In the technical annex, it is defined that, in order to reach this general objective, a network of researchers will be created to:
1. exchange and discuss research needs, methods and results;
2. co-ordinate research projects in the respective countries as far as possible and desirable;
3. stimulate or support further (common) research projects.

More precisely, the Action is focused on analysing:
- the process and the effects of victim-offender mediation and conferencing;
- national recording systems;
- national legislation in relation to victim-offender mediation;
- the relation between criminal justice and restorative justice practices and agencies;
- training models and the experience of training legal professionals in the restorative justice area;
- new restorative justice models and applications;
- theoretical concepts, approaches and frameworks on restorative justice.
Working Groups:
Working Group 1: Evaluative research on restorative justice practices
Co-ordinator: Ida Hylde, Norway
Working Group 2: Policy oriented research on restorative justice developments 
Co-ordinator: Michael  Kilchling, Germany
W orking Group 3: Theoretical Research – Co-ordinator: Robert Mackay, UK

Working  Group 4: Restorative Justice, Violent Conflicts and Mass Victimization 

 Co-ordinator: Jana Arsovska

 Meetings held:

2003: Lisbon, Portugal   and  Freiburg, Germany

2004: Kristiansand, Norway,  Amsterdam, The  Netherlands and   Budapest, Hungary

2005: Ljubljana, Slovenia  and Maastricht, The  Netherlands

2006: Tel Aviv, Israel,   Warsaw, Poland, Final conference

 

 

Workshops  held:

Institutionalization of  Restorative Justice in a Changing  Society, Leuven, Belgium, 2004

Structuring the  Landscape  of Restorative Justice Theory,  Maastricht,  The  Netherlands, 2005

Joint  Data  Recording  Systems, Bremen, Germany, 2005

Restorative Justice and the Contact Hypothesis in managing ethno-national conflicts - Tel Aviv, Israel, 2006

Publications: under preparation

Web-site: www.euforumrj.org/projects.COST.htm

cost1

Final COST Action A21 Conference  “Restorative  Justice Research  in  Europe: Outcomes  and  Challenges ”

22-24 November 2006, Warsaw

 

3.  COMENIUS 2 - Violence in Schools Training Action –VISTA (2004-2006)

In  partnership with  the University  of  Surrey-UK, Catholic University  of Leuven,  Belgium, Trinity  College-Dublin, Ireland, University of  Cordoba, Spain and University of  Stavanger, Norway

Coordinator-  Prof. Helen Cowie, University  of  Surrey

 

The main aims of this project are to:

 · develop a European training package on the topic of violence prevention in the whole school context;

 · disseminate good practice through training at European, national and local levels;

 · provide active support to key police-makers and to schools.

 

Meetings  held:

 

2004: Guildford-UK, Dublin- Ireland  and  Cordoba - Spain

2005: Sofia- Bulgaria and   Stavanger - Norway (pilot training)

2006-Leuven- Belgium,    Cumberland  Lodge, UK, Final  meeting

 

Expected outcomes: e-manual, to be translated in  Bulgarian, and  a  hard-copy book

Website: www.vista-europe.org

VISTA team

See our photo gallery
 

4. AGIS - Meeting the Challenges of Introducing Victim - Offender Mediation in Central and Eastern Europe (2004-2005)

In  partnership  with organisations from  15  European countries 

General objective of the project:

· to effectively support the development of restorative justice in Central and Eastern European countries;

Specific objectives:

· to study, at the conceptual and practical levels, the possibilities for implementing victim-offender mediation in Central and Eastern European countries given their specific political, economical, cultural and legal background;

· to discuss the ways in which the experience in Western European countries can inform and support the development of victim-offender mediation in Central and Eastern European countries;

· to prepare strategies for the promotion of the development of an integrated policy concerning victim-offender mediation in Central and Eastern European countries.

Meetings held:

2004: Vienna, Austria  and Budapest, Hungary

2005: Chisinau, Moldova and Sofia, Bulgaria

The  project  ended successfully  and its  main   objectives  were  achieved. The  Final  Report  Conclusions and Recommendations were  sent  to  the  European Commission  and to  the  relevant  Ministries  of Justice.

See our photo gallery

 

5.Tools In Network: An E-Net Approach to Share Mediation Competences /TIN Project/ 2007-2009

 

The need to develop and improve competences of practitioners and experts working in the field of juvenile justice both in public institutions (local social services) and private-non profit making organizations is the basis of such a proposal. The key educational role of victim–offender mediation in the juvenile justice system is underlined by international organization working in the field of children’s rights and juvenile justice. Indeed the Council of Europe recognizes the need to enhance active personal participation of the victim in criminal proceedings and to promote more constructive and less repressive criminal justice outcomes. But in doing so the Council of Europe underlines that mediation requires specific skills and calls for codes of practice and accredited training.  The project aims at supporting improvement in quality in vocational education for practitioners and experts working in the field of juvenile justice in public institutions (local social services), private and non profit making organizations by developing competences and skills by means of the on-line training programmes on Restorative Justice the Italian Department of Juvenile Justice has developed in its everyday work. The project addresses specific needs of practitioners and expert working with minors in conflict with law meaning contribute to the development of common strategies and approaches in victim – offender mediation. Moreover the project takes into account the needs of practitioners asking for on line training programmes in order to balance work and life long learning. 

Partners: Institutions and  organizations from Italy, Germany, Spain, Latvia,  Czech  Republic  and  Bulgaria.

 

The  first  transnational  meeting of TIN  project was held   with  great  success in  Sofia on 3rd  and  4th   March 2008.

See  our  photo gallery

On 1st and 2nd December 2008 in Guadalajara, Spain, the second transnational meeting took place. TIN Project   has been moved forward.

 

    spain-1    spain-2

 

 

6. The School  - a   Territory  of  Tolerance 2008-2009

 

The project  has  been  launched by the  “Public  Fund” Foundation- Pazardjik  and involves actively experts from  the  Institute  of  Conflict  Resolution. In  the  frameworks  of the  project training  of  school  staff from  three schools  in  the  town  of  Pazardjik  on  school  violence  prevention is  planned as  well  as  publication  of  manual  to  combat school  violence. Further  training of   teachers,  students  and  parents  will  lead  to multiplication  of    initial  training  results.   The  project  is  based  on VISTA project methodology.

 

 

  pazardjik-1   pazardjik-2 

                                           pazardjik-3

                                                             Fragments of education.

7. Consensus Project -- 2009-2010

The project is  in the  frameworks of  the  European Commission Program “Prevention   and fight against  crime”. The  coordinator  is  the  Regional Government of  Calicia, Spain.  Partners are  the  Institute  of  Conflict  Resolution from  Bulgaria and  organizations  from the  UK, Italy,  Portugal  and Finland.

The  project  aims at identifying  good practices of  Restorative  Juvenile  Justice  in  order  their   broader  implementation  in  Spain.  International  meetings  and publication  of  a book  are  foreseen.

For more  info: http://proyectoconsensus.blogspot.com

 

 

8.  Project „The 3E Model for a Restorative Justice Strategy in Europe” 2011-2013

 

A   new   transnational project   entitled “The 3E Model for a Restorative Justice Strategy in Europe” with the  Institute  of   Conflict Resolution  involvement  has  been  launched. The  coordinator  of  the  project is  the Aristotle  University  of Thessaloniki,  and  the  partners  are   research  institutions  and  scholars  from the United Kingdom, Finland, Hungary, Poland, Spain, Turkey, the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany.  The  aim  of  the  project  is  to  develop a  model  Strategy  for  Restorative  Justice  establishment  in  Europe.

The  first  working  meeting  in the  frameworks  of  the  project  took part  on  31  October  2011 in  Thessaloniki,  Greece.

                                           IMG_3260

The second working meeting was held in Athens on 30-31 May 2012.

On 16 & 17 May 2013 in Thessaloniki the final conference took place, with Prof. Dr D. Chankova’s participation. A  Draft EU Directive on Restorative Justice was discussed. The project publications are forthcoming.

 

9. Project ARS - 2011-2013

The ICR is a partner in ARS project, coordinated by FUNDACION CAMINA SOCIAL- Spain, jointly with organizations from Italy, UK and Ireland.

The project objectives are identification and dissemination of good practices for use of art towards children  at  risk.

At the conference held in A Coruna, Spain, on 7 May 2013, George Bakalov- vice-chair of  ICR and Ralitsa Voynova- member of ICR, took  part.

Project’s findings were  published.

                                             IMG_0079

10.“Restorative Justice in Europe: Safeguarding Victims & Empowering Professionals” -2012-2014

The Institute of Conflict Resolution is a partner in  a new project entitled “Restorative Justice in Europe: Safeguarding Victims & Empowering Professionals”, funded  by the EU. The  coordinator of  the  project  is Independent Academic Research Studies (IARS)-UK, and  the  partners  are  also: the University of Applied Sciences for Public Administration - Bremen (Germany), Restorative Justice Netherlands (the Netherlands), the European Public Law Organisation (Greece). Associate Partners from the  USA, UK, Cyprus  etc. are involved   as well.

The project aims acceleration of the implementation of the  new Directive 2012/29/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council for establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime, improving services to the  victims and  promotion of  restorative justice.

So far  in the  frameworks  of  the  project  from Bulgarian  side a review  of the  specialized  literature in Bulgarian  and  a summary  in  English was  made, published  on  the Project  site.

 

Fieldwork  among victims  of  crime  and  professionals  from  5  focus  groups  was done. The  findings  are  published  on  the Project  site.

 

Information  campaign  have been  launched and  the  following more  significant  activities  have  been  accomplished:

 

-Prof. Dr. Dobrinka Chankova participated   in  a conference “Law, Policy, Change”, held  on 25  April  2013 at  South-West  University, Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria,  with  a  paper “Who  is  still  afraid from RJ  in Bulgaria?”

 

- Prof. Dr. Dobrinka Chankova  participated  with  a presentation   entitled “Who  is  afraid  of  Restorative  Justice ?”  in  the  international  conference  ”Restorative Justice: Towards a new  European Perspective”, 16-17 May 2013, Thessaloniki, Greece  (  final conference of the European funded project 3E-RJ-MODEL ).

- The  article of  Prof. Dr. Dobrinka Chankova “The  New European Standards for  Rights, Support  and Protection of  Crime  Victims” has been  published  in  Bulgarian law  journal “Society and Law”, 2013, N 4.

 

- Prof. Dr. D. Chankova took  part  in  the   International Summer School  for  PhD  Students “The European Union and the Black Sea Region: Challenges and Prospects”  held  in  Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria, from 17  till  19 September 2013.  She  delivered a  lecture entitled  Restorative  Justice – the New   Perspective of Criminal  Justice in Europe”.

 

- A common  article of  Prof. Dr Theo  Gavrielides  and Prof. Dr Dobrinka Chankova entitled “New Transnational Project for Accelerating Implementation of the new European Standards for Victims” was published  in the  European Forum  for  Restorative Justice Newsflash September 2013, http://www.euforumrj.org//assets/upload/IARS.pdf

 

-During the Annual Conference of  the Law  Faculty of the University  of National  and  World Economy – Sofia, held  on 17  October 2013, Prof. Dr. Dobrinka  Chankova  made a  presentation entitled  Restorative Justice - a Revival of Customary Law in Support  of Crime Victims”.

 

- During  the celebration  of  the European Day against Human Trafficking- 18 October, held  at South-West  University- Blagoevgrad, information about  new Directive 2012/29/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council for establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime was  distributed.

 

-During the  scientific session “Trends  and Perspectives of  Public  Administration in Bulgaria”  held  at Law  and History  Faculty  at SWU “N. Rilski” information  about Directive 2012/29/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council for establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime   was  disseminated.

 

-The  International  RJ week  was  celebrated  in November with  students  from Law  and History  Faculty  at SWU “N. Rilski” and  during  the  training  of  new mediators by  ICR experts.

 

-At  the official opening  of  Mediation  centre at Blagoevgrad on 10 December 2013 Prof. Dr D. Chankova spoke about RJ  and the new EU Victims Directive.

 

- 41 meetings  with university professors  and  other  researchers and  practitioners about  how  to  include Restorative Justice  and the  new Directive 2012/29/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council for establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime   in  the  education and  social  and  legal  practice  have  been  organized.

-In  January 2014  the  first  results  from   the  project  have  been  revealed.  See http://rj4all.info/content/iars-press-release-new-research-victims-restorative-justice-uk-and-europe

-The IARS Press release about the first year of the project was translated and distributed broadly. It was   published in Bulgarian on-line newsletter and in the on-line scientific journal “Law, Politics, Administration”. In the same journal the article of  Prof. Chankova “Who is  still  afraid  from Restorative Justice in  Bulgaria?”, presented  as a paper in the  conference “Law, Policy, Change”, hold  on 25  April  2013, appeared (www.lpajournal.com).

 

-Prof. Chankova’s article “Crime Victims:  the new “icon“ of Bulgarian penal policy?” was published in Karaganda University Journal, 2013 N 4(72).

 

-The  ICR  took  part  in  the  public  debate  about the  new Draft Penal  Code. Five  meetings  with university  professors  and  members of  the working  group  who developed  the  Draft    were organized and  a written  statement  was  prepared  and  sent. The possibilities for legal regulation of Restorative justice were explored. Meetings with two NGO representatives were organized.

 

-Prof. D. Chankova attended the conference “European perspectives for development of penal legislation”, organized by Sofia University on 27 January 2014.  She made a presentation entitled “Restorative justice - a new type of criminal justice in Europe, oriented towards crime victim” which was very well received.

 

-Prof. D. Chankova   wrote  a  new  article about  RJ  potential  in  Bulgaria,  to  be  published  in  a Festschrift.

 

-On 18.02.2014  Prof. D. Chankova was  interviewed  by  a  journalist  of  the  Bulgarian  National  Radio about  the  interim  results  and  the  expected  outcomes  of  RJE project. Here is the interview: http://bnr.bg/euranetplus/post/100310395/ochakvat-se-rezultatite-ot-proekt-vazstanovitelno-pravosadie-v-evropa-zashtita-na-jertvite-i-upalnomoshtavane-na-profesionalistite

 

The European Day of Crime victims (22 February) was celebrated    with students from South- West University.  Information about the   Victims’ Directive was distributed.

11.04. 2014  A scientific  session “Right  to  nondiscrimination -  private  law  and  public  law  aspects”  was  held  at  Law  and   History  Faculty  at  South-West  University-Blagoevgrad. Prof. D.  Chankova made  a presentation entitled “Pro  or  contra victim’s positive  discrimination?”

 07.04.2014 Prof.  Chankova’s  article  “Restorative Justice - a Revival of Customary Law in Support  of Crime Victims”, presented  as   a  paper  at   a conference, was  published  in Bobchev’s Readings: Law Science in  Honour  of Prof. Stefan Bobchev,  University  of  National  and World  Economy, Sofia, 2014

During  the  Spring  semester 2013/2014 recent  information  about  Victim’s  Directive  and  Victims’  rights  was spread  among  students  studying  “Alternative dispute resolution”  at  SWU  and students studying “Mediation in civil and  penal  matters”  at  New  Bulgarian  University as well  as   among  new  mediators’  training   

Two articles of Prof. Chankova were  published  in Greece  in the  frameworks  of  “The  3E Model for a Restorative Justice Strategy in Europe”:

 “Restorative Justice in Bulgaria”, In: Pitsela, A.  and Symeonidou-Kastanidou (Eds.) Restorative Justice in Criminal  Matters: Towards a New European Perspective. Comparative Research in 11 Countries, Sakkloulas Publications: Athens -Thessaloniki, 2013, p. 23-43,  and

“Who is Afraid of Restorative Justice?”  In: Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Pitsela, A.  and Symeonidou-Kastanidou (Eds.)  Restorative Justice in Criminal  Matters: Towards a New European Perspective. International Conference, 16-17 May 2013, Thessaloniki, Greece, Sakkloulas Publications: Athens-Thessaloniki, 2013, p.277-280

The  Faculty  of  Law  and  History  at  South-West  University “N. Rilski” hosted  training  on  protection of crime  victims’ rights  and restorative justice in   the  frames of  RJE project. Guest-lecturers  were  Ben Lyon   и Grace Loseby  from  Independent  Academic Research  Studies-London.          The  training was  very  successful  and was  positively evaluated  by  the  participants  who  received  certificates.       Similar  training  was  organized on 16.06. 2014  in Sofia Bar Association with  active involvement  of  the  ICR  members.

 

During  the  conference “Children in  conflict  with  law. Reform  of child  justice system in  compliance with the  international  standards   and  the  best interest  of the  child” Prof Dr. Dobrinka Chankova spoke  about  restorative  justice  potential.  The  conference  took  place in Sofia  and  was  organized by  UNICEF  jointly  with  the  National  Assembly  and  Ministry  of  Justice  of  the  Republic of  Bulgaria.

During  the  round  table  discussion “Forming  of  long-term policies  for  improving crime victims standing” Prof  Dr D. Chankova  presented  the  project “Restorative Justice in Europe: Safeguarding Victims and Empowering Professionals”.

Prof. Chankova’s  presentation on RJ   during  January 2014 high  level conference  appeared  in  a very  nice  compendium  as  well  as  a paper  on RJ was posted on http://e-learning.vddlegal.com/course/view.php?id=4.

Prof.  D. Chankova  has  participated in  the Final Justice Cooperation Network Conference “Re-integration  of High Risk  Offenders”, 3-5  September 2014, Rostock-Warnemunde, Germany, with  a  poster  presentation “RESTORATIVE JUSTICE AND HIGH-RISK OFFENDERS:  CONTRADICTIOUS OR RECONCILABLE CATEGORIES?”  and  promoted RJE Project.

Information  about  RJE  e-courses for  victims  and  professionals  and  for the Final conference  was  widely  spread.

During  the  period  15.09.- 02.10. 2014 Prof. D. Chankova  delivered  course  of  lectures on Restorative Justice in  Karaganda State  University  “Acad. E. Buketov”- Kazakhstan

 

Prof. Chankova’s article “Restorative Justice Potential in Bulgaria” was published in the Festschrift  for 85th anniversary of Prof. Dr Dobri Dimitrov, Sofia University Publishing house, 2014.

 

Prof. Chankova  has written  an  article "Is time for  Restorative Justice  in Bulgaria coming?" to  be published soon  in Bulgarian Judge Journal.


Prof. Chankova reviewed the book of David Cornwell, John Blad and Martin Wright (eds.) (2013). Civilising Criminal Justice. An International Restorative Agenda for Penal Reform. With a Foreword by John Braithwaite. Sherfield Gables: Waterside Press. The review was published In Internet Journal of Restorative Justice, October 2014

 

Prof. D. Chankova took  part in the final RJE conference which was held at the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple in London on 19-20th November. Prof.  Chankova  presented the final report regarding  RJE project in Bulgaria. She  attended the launch of  RJE book:  Gavrielides, T. (ed.)  A victim-led criminal justice system: Addressing the  paradox , London, 2014, in  which  she  has  a  chapter "More  justice for crime  victims in Bulgaria".

 

RJ week 2014  was celebrated with  new  mediators.

 

                                     RJE Logo

11. "New European Standards for Application of Alternatives to Imprisonment" 2015-2016

Starting  from  12 March 2015, the  Association "Bulgarian-Romanian Trans-border  Mediation Institute" starts the  implementation of the project "New European Standards for Application of Alternatives to  Imprisonment",  funded  according to  contract № 93-00-133/12.03.2015, Small  Grants  Scheme  of   the Programme BG15 "Correction services including without detention measures" under  the Norwegian Financial  Mechanism 2009-2014. The Institute of Conflict Resolution is a partner. The total  amount  of  the project  is      113 237,50 BGN,   from  which 101 913,75 BGN  is the  gratuitous  aid from  the  Programme  Operator,  and  11 323,75 BGN  is the  contribution  of  the  Beneficiary. The project will be accomplished  in  12 months.

 Norway+Grants+Logo

18-19.03.2015 A working meeting was held in Blagoevgrad.

28.04. 2015 A press-conference was launched in BTA- Sofia.

6-10.07.2015 The  first  working  visit  to Budapest  aimed  to  explore  the   Hungarian  experience in the  alternatives to  imprisonment  took  place. The  meetings  with   the  representatives  of  various  institutions  were extremely  useful.

IMG_8854_N    IMG_8875_N

P7074300_N    P7074263_N

10-14.08.2015 The  second  working  visit  to Oslo  aimed  to  explore  the   Norwegian  experience in the  alternatives to  imprisonment  took  place.

P8114516N   P8114543N

6.10.2015 Today  in  Sofia  a  conference  entitled "Hungarian  and   Norwegian experience for  application of  non-custodial  sanctions -  new  horizons  facing criminal justice" in  the  framework of  the project  "New European Standards for Application of Alternatives to  Imprisonment" was  held.

Site_update_2015_photo

5.12.2015 Prof. Dr. Dobrinka Chankova and  Elina Popova were  lecturing  during  the  trainings  of  judges, public  prosecutors and probation officers  in  the  frames  of  the  Project “New European Standards  for  Application  of  Alternatives  to  Imprisonment” held  in  Blagoevgrad and Rousse in November  and December  2015.    

 

PB255291_NPB255313_NPB255306_N

 

.    

 

 

Phone/Fax: ++359 2 9758032

         e-mail: icr@icr-bg.org