Dr Bolitho, who is currently based at the University of New South Wales, will take over the Chair from Professor Chris Marshall by January 2021.
Dr Bolitho is a highly respected expert in restorative justice, restorative practices, and violence and conflict resolution. Her work explores the experiences of those coming before criminal justice systems, the operations of formal and community-based justice systems, alternative models of resolution, and innovations in justice.
Dr Bolitho is also an accredited mediator and practising youth justice conference convenor, sits on the Australian Psychological Society Dispute Resolution Committee, and is a professional member of Resolution Institute.
“Now is an exciting time to be taking on the role of Chair of Restorative Justice,” says Dr Bolitho. “Restorative practitioners and scholars around the world look to Aotearoa for leadership in advancing the restorative justice movement, with its pivotal influence in the early days of the movement and continual willingness to explore innovative practice.”
Dr Bolitho says the restorative justice team has an established track record of innovative work under the leadership of Professor Marshall.
“My job will be to foster further innovation that again lifts the bar on what the restorative justice movement can achieve. There is the opportunity to strengthen and promote Māori leadership in the Asia–Pacific region and internationally with First Nations peoples and to work collaboratively on decolonising practices that challenge mainstream perspectives on addressing harm. I am looking forward to working alongside the amazingly diverse restorative scholars, practitioners and advocates in New Zealand to further develop this vision for a restorative civil society,” she says.
Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Dean of the Wellington School of Business and Government, Professor Ian Williamson welcomes Dr Bolitho’s appointment. “Jane’s strong background in restorative justice and restorative practices makes her the ideal researcher to continue the leading work and research the Diana Unwin Chair in Restorative Justice is known for,” says Professor Williamson.
“I’d also like to acknowledge Professor Chris Marshall’s outstanding work over the last six years as the inaugural holder of the Chair—which most recently has included hosting forums for the Ministry of Health for people who have suffered complications from the use of surgical mesh.”
While Professor Marshall is retiring from the Chair, he will work with Dr Bolitho on a part-time basis.
The Diana Unwin Chair in Restorative Justice was established in January 2014 as a partnership between the Wellington School of Business and Government and several community and government partners including The Grace Memorial Trust, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Education, Department of Corrections, New Zealand Police, Ministry of Social Development (since passed on to Oranga Tamariki), Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and the Accident Compensation Corporation.
The holder of the Chair provides academic and professional leadership to a team of researchers and practitioners, and facilitates collaborative engagement between public sector agencies and civil society organisations on restorative justice issues.