The Enigma of ‘Community’ and the Exigency of Engagement: Restorative Youth Conferencing in Northern Ireland

Published 13/12/2006
Type Article
Author(s) David O’Mahony, Jonathan Doak
Corresponding Authors David O’Mahony, Reader in Law, Durham University

This article considers the role of community in a new model of restorative youth conferencing that has recently been introduced in Northern Ireland. It notes the considerable advantages of enhancing community involvement in criminal justice, but also recognises concerns particularly for a society that is just emerging from years of conflict. Whilst the scheme has clearly increased levels of participation, it is argued that there is potential to develop work further in partnership with elements of the community sector and to contribute to governance and democratic participation within a post-conflict society.