IDUSI talks to high school students about restorative justice


Institutional Communication Service

28 January 2020

USI Law Institute (IDUSI) – headquarters of the regional italian-speaking branch of the Swiss RJ Forum – organises on Friday, 7 February at 2 pm in room A11 (Lugano campus, red building) an afternoon conference on restorative justice. Attending the initiative, about fifty high school students from Lugano High School 2 whose studies are focusing on “economics and law” or whose graduation projects focus on the subject.

Students will have the chance to meet with field expert Grazia Mannozzi, Professor of Criminal Law and Restorative Justice and Criminal Mediation at the University of Insubria and Director of the Centre of Studies on Restorative Justice and Mediation. The screening of the movie “Tangerines” directed by Zaza Urushadzei will also be an opportunity to tackle issues on restorative justice and to create a space for an open dialogue among students. The conference is also open to USI students and members of the academic community.

The initiative is part of the activities addressed to the community that USI carries out with the aim of promoting cultural and scientific debate on different topics and that IDUSI is committed to organising in its field of competence (also through "continuous and refresher training for jurists" organised at USI by the Institute of Law in collaboration with the Faculty of Law of the University of Lucerne). 

The Institute's commitment to fostering discussion on the topic of restorative justice began as early as 2018 with a first conference on the subject, which carried on with further insight during a second session in May 2019. The two conferences, organised in collaboration with the Swiss RJ Forum, the European Forum for Restorative Justice and the Swiss Section of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), have fostered the creation of the regional Italian-speaking branch of the Swiss Forum for Restorative Justice, of which Annamaria Astrologo, an IDUSI collaborator and Professor of Swiss Criminal Law at the Faculty of Law of the University of Insubria, is scientific coordinator. "The aim of the regional group is precisely to organise conferences and study seminars on restorative justice in order to establish a conscious discussion and concrete training on this vision of justice in Ticino as well," says Astrologo.

Why is it important to take an interest in restorative justice? "In recent years there has been an increasing attention to restorative justice precisely because the focus has shifted from the offender to the relationship between the perpetrator and the victim. Nevertheless, dialogue is the foundation of the relationship between restorative justice and traditional criminal justice, in a vision in which the former supports the latter. The complementarity and integration of the two forms of justice is in fact the only way forward," explains Astrologo.

In conflict management, the spoken word becomes the key tool for working with restorative justice. The second conference scheduled for 24 March 2020, again at USI, organised by IDUSI in collaboration with the Institute of Argumentation, Linguistics and Semiotics (IALS) will focus on criminal mediation from both a legal and linguistic point of view. Moderated by Giancarlo Dillena, the conference is intended for anyone interested in a dialogical approach to conflict reparation.