If you are currently registered with ADR Network SA as a panellist, please send in an update of your specific offerings and areas of interest or speciality, from workshops to dispute resolution services
We will be publishing updates on our website and all our networks this week, so it’s a good time to harvest some work
Please send in to firstname.lastname@example.org by 12pm on Tuesday 24 March 2015 for publication on Wednesday morning, statistically one of the best times to get news out
The Court Annexed Mediation Project will pilot at various sites withion Gauteng on 1 December 2014. Unfortunately the project is not ready yet in other regions
The Department of Justice published an invitation for mediators to apply to be accredited.
If you wish to apply, then your application must be in this Friday 21 November 2014. If you need anything from us, please be in touch with Sipho Mdlala on 0820927425 or email@example.com. Please cc firstname.lastname@example.org
You can request a copy of the invite from us via email if you don’t have it
You may also need to request certificates, panel confirmation and the like. Please let us know urgently
Tomorrow Oscar is sentenced. Friday we heard argument in mitigation of sentence and argument in aggravation of sentence. I have views on both.
In the first place the presence of a self-confessed contract killer in court last week, who previously made a deal with Gerrie Nel which bought him immunity from prosecution and the very consequences for killing another human being that Gerrie Nel speaks of, derogates Gerrie Nel’s credibility when he exhorts the judge and her assessors not to allow Oscar get away with the gravity of what he has done. It’s a pretty surreal context which we must process and ask ourselves some tough questions. I leave that to you.
Barry Roux on the other hand raises all the mitigating factors that would support application of restorative justice, but his fleeting and lightweight references to Ubuntu and Restorative Justice (although they may be elaborated on well in his heads of argument) do not demonstrate a profound understanding of or depth of insight into these concepts. I mention this because this was an ideal opportunity to sensitize society to restorative justice and I think it was lost.
I am not well-versed in the concept of Ubuntu philosophy except to the extent that it is supportive of restorative justice.
I am a strong advocate of restorative justice and it is central to what I do. And because of that I feel a responsibility to clear up a few things that have emerged in the societal debate around Oscar’s sentencing.
Number 1 is that restorative justice does not, by implication, only find application in petty crimes. On the contrary, Restorative Justice, and its application saw scores of individuals gaining amnesty for apartheid crimes. Heinous crimes. This process was central to the avoidance of civil war at the time. Why do we forget this so quickly. Allow me to take this opportunity to point out though that Restorative Justice is about Restoration and we are still in that process. This means that if we do not complete the process of restoring the land to those dispossessed of it, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is not only incomplete, but the amnesty granted for heinous crimes against humans must then be called into question. Further more, if we do not commit to economic transformation generally, the restorative process remains incomplete.
Number 2 is that my view is that the overwhelming desire of society to see Oscar go to prison is born out of societal bloodlust. Oscar is a product of violent society. I’m not talking about South Africa, I’m talking about humanity. Our bloodlust to see those who harm, harmed is a product of violent society. Our thirst for retributive justice over restorative justice is part of what keeps the spiral of violence alive.
Number 3 is that my view is that prison should be an absolute last resort reserved for those who absolutely cannot function in society and would be a danger to society. We kid ourselves when we think that retributive justice corrects, restores or rehabilitates. It is simply not so. We kid ourselves when we think that sending Oscar to prison will save any number of women and children’s lives. It’s not so. The spiralling cycle of perpetual violence born out of the notion that we must injure those who injure simply worsens the problem of violence.
If Oscar goes to prison, society gets what it wants for like five minutes and then what? What is achieved? All his energy is applied to getting his sentence displaced as we see in other matters.
There are other methods of bringing wrongdoers to account. Oscar should pay back his debt to society: but with his talent, with his resources, with the platform he has. Oscar needs to play a part in healing society from this kind of thing. He needs to have a chance to step back and focus on what he has done and how best he can make that up to society. I still don’t believe we have heard exactly what happened that night. I still believe the truth was massacred in court both ways. I still believe a restorative approach from the outset would have minimized fear and maximized potential for truth, accountability and ultimately healing and restoration. In prison, the chance of him reflecting on making good, making up to society are slim. In prison he will be pre-occupied with getting out.
The desire for revenge is a heavy burden to bear. And the collective desire for revenge can literally destroy us all. Redemptive violence has never ever proved itself effective in dismantling violence. Punishment and retribution is quick fix. It’s the easy answer. We have confused what justice really is with notions of punishment and making wrongdoers “pay”. Doing justice is about restoring the template. Making things right. Giving back dignity. Restoration and healing is much, much harder work. It requires wisdom, resilience and courage. It requires focus and commitment. It’s way easier to resign ourselves to the violent imagery and violent culture we are literally immersed in. We are immersed in violent imagery in entertainment and we have become really ok with it. The media pummels us with the violent of the world all the time. So obviously it’s our natural impulse to say those who injure, must be injured in return. Retributive yearnings go hand in hand with perpetual violence. It’s not good for any of us. We don’t know who we are anymore. And our survival, our very humanity depends on us all asking ourselves some tough questions.
The violence must stop. And it will never stop if we keep applying violent answers to the problem of violence. It just won’t.
Peace, by the presence of justice
Sheena St. Clair Jonker
ADR Network SA and the Access to Justice Association of Southern Africa
email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Court Annexed Mediation One Day Workshops
25 September Jozi, Durban, Cape Town
Cost for panellists: free
Cost for past and current trainees: R 200
Cost for all others: R1000
Includes snacks, refreshments, manuals and certificates of attendance
To reserve a spot email email@example.com with Court Annexed Mediation in the Header
FIVE DAY TRAINING
Durban 20-24 Oct
Cape Town 27- 31 Oct
Jozi 3-7 November
Cost R 11 999 incl manuals, certificate and accreditation with ADR Network SA and Access to Justice Association of Southern Africa
Cost is R 11 99 (incl Vat) *subsidies available
LEADING FOR PEACE: ONE DAY LEADERSHIP PROGRAM
Cost is R 1000 including materials and certificate of attendance.
8 Oct Cape Town
16 October Jozi
28 October Durban
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org with “Leadership Training” in the header.
I blog in peace.
Here is an update on some of the latest developments in the world of ADR and Access to Justice:
1. COURT ANNEXED MEDIATION
Please note that the date for sending back commentary on published accreditation standards and Standards and norms is 28 August 2014. If you have not seen the gazetted notice and would like it sent to you, please email email@example.com with “Copy of Gazette Notice” in the headerPlease note our Cape Town Five Day Program proceeds next week and on the Thursday we will cover court annexed mediation and developments to date. All panellists are welcome.Past trainees, as you know may attend all further workshops at cost of catering
2. DISTANCE LEARNING PROGRAMFor more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org with “distance learning subsidy” in the header
We have a limited amount of places on our distance learning program still available at a subsidized rate of R 3000. This is suitable for those who cannot take off 5 consecutive days. Contact time will be made up via webinars and attendance at half day seminars
3. ACCESS TO JUSTICE PROVINCIAL SUBSTRUCTURESThe Cape Town Provincial Substructure meeting will happen directly after next Thursday’s workshop
For an invite please send a mail to email@example.com with “ATJ Cape Town Provincial Substructure” in the header
4. ACCESS TO JUSTICE GOLF DAY
Also if you are keen to help us host a golf day in any other centre, please get in touch similarly
Please diarise 18 November in Durban for the first annual Access to Justice Golf Day. If you are interested in entering, sponsoring a fourball, prizes or a green or tee, it will be great exposure for legal services or ADR and ancillary services. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Golf Day” in the header
5. FIVE DAY PROGRAMS
Please NOTE: The Cape Town program runs next week. If you still wish to attend contact us urgently on email@example.com
Remember that past trainees just pay cost of catering (normally R 220 per day) and panellists attend Thursday (ie Court Annexed Mediation) at no charge
For Upcoming dates or a proposal on in-house training, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Five Day Training” in the header
6. JUSTICE NEWS
Our Online News Postal, Justice News is live! This is an aggregator bringing together the work of dynamic bloggers and writers that write around legal, social, political and economic justice and creation care. In time you will be able to buy advertising space. To link your blog, or website, please send an email to email@example.com with “Justice News” in the header. Also please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to query advertising opportunities. Use the header “Advertising”
If you wish to join the panel of ADR Network SA or as a service provider to Access to Justice, please email email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org with “panel” and “service provider” in the respective headersPanellists enjoy ongoing attendance at training times and newtworking functions either at no charge or preferential rates
8. S v Sangweni ADR Dialogue
The ADR Diversion Dialogue in the matter of S V Sangweni proceeded this week. The mediation panel consisted of myself, Sheena Jonker, Brandon Abdinor, Hilton Green, Sipho Mdlala and for part of the time, Jay Gangat. The dialogue adjourned yesterday to enable us to complete an interim Mediation Summary for purposes of report back to court next week. Legal Counsel will ask for charges to be withdrawn and whether they are or not, the ADR Dialogue will continue as some significant issues have emerged during the storytelling process and as the week progressed individuals and those representing organizations such as the Department of Labour and Local ABM Warrooms became increasingly aware of the power of the process.
It was also amazing to see the value of the public narrative and how healing and powerful the story telling process is. This in itself mobilizes hope
9. Lwandle Ministerial Inquiry
We will be making further submissions on diversion to ADR Restorative Justice Process and will keep you updated
10. More Evictions
This week alone I was consulted on the threatened eviction of hundreds of families in KZN and this morning I have already been consulted on the demolution of 600 shacks as of an hour ago in Cape Town. I am waiting on further information and will be dealing with this further in Cape Town next week.
Thanks for your attention, support and continued interest in our work.
Please send your thoughts.