Seminar to explore issues of justice

A DAY-LONG seminar exploring issues of justice will take place in Shetland next month.

Shetland College’s Karen Manson and Hans Marter of Shetland News will share the podium with Northern Isles MP Alistair Carmichael and Scottish Prisons chief executive Colin McConnell.

The ‘Unpacking Justice’ event, hosted by Shetland’s community mediation team and chaired by SIC convener Malcolm Bell, will take place in the Sound Hall on Thursday 21 April.


The free event is organised by the community mediation team with financial support from the Community Justice Redesign Project 2016/17.

Community mediation team project manager Alyson Halcrow said it followed the success of the team’s seminars on apology and forgiveness in the last couple of years.

It “explores concepts that are key to our work in conflict resolution and restorative justice, and which are so important in a small community like Shetland.”

Manson will open the day with a presentation comparing justice systems around the world, while Marter will speak about the relationship between the media and the justice system.


Carmichael will offer an international perspective on the relationship of the justice system to the political one, looking at the way judges are elected in, for example, America.

In the past, McConnell has been quoted as saying: “The cornerstone for reducing re-offending ought to be public forgiveness, tolerance and redemption.

“Our approach now concentrates on community reintegration and on the potential of citizenship, rather than the negative and disparaging label of ‘offender’.”

McConnell will talk about justice as it relates to the prison service.

Other topics to be covered on the day include the arts in the criminal justice system, justice in a small island community, ‘an eye for an eye?’, prosecutorial options, and the role of restorative justice within justice.

There will also be a performance on the theme of justice by the Anderson High after school drama group.

Number attending the event will be limited to 50. Please contact the community mediation team at Market House for more details, e-mail: alyson.halcrow@shetland.gov.uk