Project Samekya: Building Just and Equitable Spaces
“Justice is not just a destination to be reached at, but a road to be travelled.”
-Akanksha Marwah (Co-Founder, Accords International)
What is Restorative Justice?
The Handbook on Restorative Justice programmes by UNODC defines restorative justice as, “an approach that offers offenders, victims and the community an alternative pathway to justice. It promotes the safe participation of victims in resolving the situation and offers people who accept responsibility for the harm caused by their actions an opportunity to make themselves accountable to those they have harmed. It is based on the recognition that criminal behaviour not only violates the law, but also harms victims and the community.”
Its value system can be described as encompassing the following:
Why Restorative Justice?
A society without conflicts is too ideal to be true. The inevitability of conflicts challenges the law-makers to come up with a solution that not just resolves the conflicts in a constructive way but also prevents it to a greater extent.
Crimes form a specific part of conflicts. It requires State intervention due to the gravity of impact. In any event of crime, there are different stakeholders involved, viz., the harm doer, the victim, the community and the State. State has taken up the responsibility to address and redress the harm. It comes forward to prosecute the harm doer and establish the guilt leading to punishment, if found guilty. There emerges a number of problems due to this:
• Victim: The Forgotten Player
Victim substantially has no role to play. Victim is the primary party whose concerns
are to be addressed. Unfortunately, (s)he is forced to take the back seat while the State
steers the cart of justice.
• Community Satisfaction
Crime is believed to be a wrong against the society. Irrespective, of this, the affected
community has no participation in the process of conflict resolution.
• Justice: Access to All
Justice cannot be allowed to remain and be delivered within the four walls of courtroom.
It has to go beyond and impact the lives of the people which were affected by the event of crime.
Sustainability of justice has to achieved by transforming the ways in which justice is understood.
What is Samekya about?
Restorative justice promises a constructive approach to prevent and resolve conflicts. Samekya, AcIn’s Restorative Justice arm, envisions to keep up this promise. It aims at rebuilding the societies which are harmed due to incidence of crime. It intends to explore the dimensions of restorative justice and apply it for conflict resolution in different segments.
At Samekya our aim is to:
Work on the understanding of community justice
Innovate ways to make justice accessible to all
Use its UNITE approach to peacefully resolve conflicts
Develop a holistic approach
AcIn UNITE Approach