Sexual Violence and the Possibilities of Restorative Justice

Junior Common Room at Birmingham Law School
Wednesday 1 February 2012 (12:30-14:00)

If you wish to attend please contact Dr Anastasia Vakulenko at

Staff Research Seminar: Dr Estelle Zingsstag (Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Criminology, Law Faculty, Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium)


The focus of the paper is sexual violence, the existing retributive justice responses to it and their possible improvement by the inclusion of a more pronounced restorative component.

The paper offers a brief examination of the definitions, aetiology, and consequences of sexual violence both during armed conflicts and during peacetime. I advance the view that the sui generis nature of sexual violence requires to be fully taken into account in the responses offered by any justice mechanisms, whether transitional or other. Subsequently I will briefly explore the existing responses to this crime. I will then examine the range of ‘restorative’ responses to this crime which are developing hitherto, the potential benefits and limitations of what may be called a ‘restorative approach’ for sexual violence.

Generally I aim to explore whether the putative ambitions of restorative justice, such as greater accountability, victim empowerment or reconciliation, do in fact provide the potential for a more meaningful response to sexual violence.

Discussant: Kate Gooch 



  • Staff Research Seminars take place at 1pm in the Senior or Junior Common Room, Birmingham Law School
  • A sandwich lunch and a glass of wine will be provided from 12:30 pm
  • Postgraduate students and academic staff are welcome to attend.

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