Best Academic Article on Restorative Justice Prize

Estelle Zinsstag

Estelle Zinsstag

Working Group on Restorative Justice


Academic research on restorative justice is burgeoning with many more journals and books showcasing the high-quality research on the topic appearing internationally. It felt only natural that as part of the activities of the recently created ESC Working Group on Restorative Justice a prize would be organised to recognise and support that.

The prize was created in 2020 by the chairs of the ESC Working Group on Restorative Justice, Dr Estelle Zinsstag (UK/Belgium) and Dr Kerry Clamp (UK). Each year a call for nominations or self-nominations of articles is launched for articles published in peer reviewed journals in the 18 months prior to the call. The chairs then make a shortlist which is subsequently discussed in a panel meeting constituted of Em. Prof Lode Walgrave (Belgium), Prof Grazia Mannozzi (Italy) and Prof Frieder Duenkel (Germany).

From the prize’s inception, three international publishers, Taylor and Francis/Routledge, Sage and Eleven have come together to sponsor it, enabling the winner to receive a small sum of money and books.

The articles are examined on the following criteria:

  1. ORIGINALITY: The paper should present a novel topic or approach to the study of restorative justice and/or draw novel conclusions from the existing conceptual/theoretical literature.
  2. SOUND METHODOLOGY: There should be a clear articulation of methods used. This does not necessarily mean that it has to be an empirical paper, just that the conclusions have been drawn should be logical and explicated. 
  3. ADVANCE SCHOLARSHIP: The paper should advance the field, normatively or empirically. This could be by producing novel insights through an interrogation of practice in new areas, drawing on other disciplines in unique ways to spark or reignite interest in or a rethinking of the approach to the study of restorative justice.

In 2020 six articles were shortlisted:

  1. Willis, R. & Hoyle, C. (2019). The good, the bad and the street: Does ‘street culture’ affect offender communication and reception in RJ? European Journal of Criminology (online first/19(1)).
  2. Pointer, L. & Giles-Mitson, A. (2019) Sustained restorative dialogue as a means of understanding and preventing sexually harmful behavior on university campuses. Contemporary Justice Review, 23(1), 22-43.
  3. Blagg, H., Tulich, T. & May, S. (2019). Aboriginal youth with foetal alcohol spectrum disorder and enmeshment in the Australian justice system: can an intercultural form of restorative justice make a difference? Contemporary Justice Review, 22(2), 105-121.
  4. Parker, C. (2020). Classroom peace circles: Teachers’ professional learning and implementation of restorative dialogue’, Teaching and Teacher Education, (online first).
  5. Lanterman, J. (2019). Training partner selection and quality assurance in restorative justice for the criminal justice setting. Contemporary Justice Review, (online first).
  6. Schiff, M. & Hooker, D. (2019). Neither boat nor barbeque: in search of new language to unleash the transformative possibility of restorative justice. Contemporary Justice Review, 22(3), 219-241.

The winner was the article by Blagg, Tulich and May in Contemporary Justice Review (Taylor & Francis).

In 2021 five articles were shortlisted:

  1. Suzuki, M. & Yuan, X. (2021). How does restorative justice work? A qualitative metasynthesis. Criminal Justice Behaviour, 48(10), 1347–1365. (open access)
  2. Marder, I. (2020). Institutionalising restorative justice in the police: key findings from a study of two English police forces. Contemporary Justice Review, 23(4), 500-526.
  3. Zhang, Y. (2021). Police discretion and restorative justice in China: stories from the street-level Police. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 65(4), 498–520.
  4. De Haan, M. & Destrooper, T. (2021). Using restorative justice to rethink the temporality of transition in Chile. The International Journal of Restorative Justice, 4(2), 206-228 (but was online first).
  5. Vaandering, D & Reimer, K. (2021) Relational critical discourse analysis: a methodology to challenge researcher assumptions. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 20, 1-12.

That year the panel decided to give a main prize and a runner up prize with the winning one going to De Haan and Destrooper for their article published in The International Journal of Restorative Justice (Eleven) and as runner up Marder for his article in Contemporary Justice Review (Taylor & Francis).

In 2022, five articles were shortlisted:

  1. Kirkwood, S. (2021). A practice framework for restorative justice. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 63
  2. Forsyth, M., Cleland, D., Tepper, F., Hollingworth, D., Soares, M., Nairn, A. & Wilkinson, C (2021). A future agenda for environmental restorative justice? The International Journal of Restorative Justice, 4(1), 17-40.
  3. Zhang, Y. & Xia, Y. (2021). Can restorative justice reduce incarceration? A story from China. Justice Quartely, 38(7), 1471-1491. DOI: 10.1080/07418825.2021.1950814
  4. Llewellyn, J. (2021). Transforming restorative justice. The International Journal of Restorative Justice, 4(3), 374-396.
  5. Rebecca Banwell-Moore (2022). Just an ‘optional extra’ in the ‘victim toolkit’. International Review of Victimology, 0(0) 

The winner of this year’s prize is Jennifer Llewellyn for her article published in The International Journal of Restorative Justice (Eleven).

Every year the winner was able to be there when the award was announced, generally during the WG annual meeting, or sent a small video recording to officially receive the prize.

The new call for nominations/self-nominations is open for the 2023 Best Academic Article on Restorative Justice and if you read or have written an exceptional academic article on RJ, please send it to both Dr Estelle Zinsstag ( and Dr Kerry Clamp ( We look forward to reading all your exciting new research!