International Restorative Justice Week 2023- Meet the Speakers

In commemoration of International Restorative Justice Week, the African Forum for Restorative Justice and Restorative Justice Initiative Midlands will be hosting an event on Monday, 20th November, from 10 am to 1 pm UK time, with the theme “Restorative Justice in the Community”.

We are thrilled to introduce our esteemed lineup of speakers who will be sharing their wealth of knowledge and experiences in the field. 

Meet Our Speakers:

Commissioner Rupert Matthews: Police & Crime Commissioner UK:

Rupert is the PCC for LLR in UK. He brings to the role considerable experience in public service. He has spent 8 years as a unitary authority councillor, 2 years as a Member of the European Parliament and is currently a Parish Councillor in the Leicestershire village where he lives. He became MEP for the East Midlands in July 2017 following many years of campaigning on behalf of local people across the East Midlands. Prior to his election, Rupert worked in publishing writing a wide variety of children’s and history books, including one on The Battle of Lincoln and food and drink in Leicestershire.

Lisa Rea: President, Restorative Justice International

Lisa Rea is a national and internationally recognized restorative justice and legislative expert with over 20 years’ experience advocating for criminal justice reform based on restorative justice principles. In 2008, Lisa founded Restorative Justice International (RJI), an international association and network with over 7000 members and affiliate members. RJI advocates for systemic justice reform based on victims-driven restorative justice. RJI’s affiliates are comprised of crime victims, exonerees, academics, ex-offenders, and human rights experts. The association is guided by its Global Advisory Council with 20 esteemed members from around the world. RJI is a global champion supporting restorative justice on the cutting edge. Lisa Rea has extensive and diverse experience in legislative advocacy, public policy development, grassroots organizing, and media relations. She is a former legislative staff person in the California Legislature, and an Assembly subcommittee consultant. Lisa has served in the public and private sector as a legislative advocate on a wide variety of subjects including criminal justice reform, healthcare, labor, welfare reform and environmental public policy. She served as a congressional intern on Capitol Hill, and was a recipient of the LBJ congressional grant, and was elected to the Isla Vista Community Council in Southern California.

Dr. Upneet Lalli

Dr. Upneet Lalli is a Psychologist , heading the Training and Research wing of Institute of Correctional Administration, Chandigarh India. A Doctorate in Psychology she also holds a Law degree from the Punjab University, Chandigarh. She has more than two decades experience in designing, conducting and organizing training programmes for mid and senior rank prison officers, police officers.She is invited as a keynote and speaker, for talks, lectures at various Universities both nationally and internationally and at various training institutes . She has been invited by the UNODC as an expert on penal matters and as a trainer on Mental health issues in Prisons. She is proactively associated with gender rights and child rights issues, on which she writes extensively. As an expert on gender issues she is on the panel of various organisations to deal with issues of sexual harassment at the work place. Dr Lalli has a personal and professional interest in reforming the criminal justice system in India, especially through the development of human rights and socially just practices combined with restorative justice and her networks extend to exciting regional projects within and outside of prisons.

Dr.Tatsi Theophilus Tayi: Vice President Court of Appeal, Buea – Cameroon (Judge)

He is a distinguished legal professional with over three decades of experience. From 1988 to 2001, he served as Deputy State Counsel at the Legal Department overseeing penal matters, police operations, and investigations. Transitioning to State Counsel in (2001-2004), he became a senior prosecutor, handling cases of felonies before the Court of First Instance and High Court. Between 2005 and 2010, he led as the President of the Court of First Instance overseeing urgent commercial disputes and enforcement measures and presiding over the Juvenile Court. From 2011 to 2017, he served as the President of the Court of First Instance, handling urgent commercial disputes, managing arbitral proceedings, and presiding over the Juvenile Court. In 2017 he ascended to Vice President of the Court of Appeal in Buea. Here, he excelled as an Appellate Judge and President of the Civil and Commercial Bench, contributing significantly to civil and commercial appeals. His educational journey is marked by notable achievements. In 2023, he attained a PhD in Law from the University of DSCHANG. He focused on protecting bank depositors and loans under Cameroonian law, with a comprehensive appraisal of the Ohada Uniform Acts and CEMAC Regulations. His contributions in simplifying dispute resolution procedures have significantly reduced costs and delays while ensuring high-quality justice. In his editorial role at the Southwest Region Magistrates’ Law Reports, he oversaw the publication of 13 law reports. He’s also been an active Life Member of the Association of Judges and Magistrates of the Common Law of Cameroon (AJUMACOL) AND CMJA since 2012, contributing to the growth of the legal community. As President of NGO GUARDIANS OF JUSTICE. (GUAJUS), he’s working on a project to establish a digital legal library, furthering legal education and Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanisms.

Dr Abu Zaman

Abu Zaman is a Lecturer in Law and Criminology at the University of Greenwich. He focused on challenging behaviour as a teacher for over nine years in the Further Education (FE) sector. As a result, he obtained a ‘Level 5 Restorative Approaches – Theory and Practice’ and practised as a Restorative Justice (RJ) facilitator in a FE College. As part of his PhD, Abu Zaman explored RJ and its practices in the FE sector. This research explored staff and students’ understanding and experiences of RJ practices and processes, and staff experiences of constraints, limitations, and opportunities for successful RJ policy implementation.

Dr. John G. Ikubaje

Dr. John G. Ikubaje is a Senior Political Officer in the Department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security at the African Union Commission, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. A fellow of the United Nations’ Regional Human Rights System. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science, at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria and MA in Governance and Development from the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), University of Sussex, Brighton United Kingdom. He holds Ph.D. in Peace, Governance and Development from the United Nations University for Peace (UPEACE). He supervises Human Rights and Transitional Justice within the Governance and Conflict Prevention Directorate of the Department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security. Dr. Ikubaje has written extensively and made several presentations within and beyond the Africa continent on issues of democratic and good governance, human rights and transitional justice. He is the author of the African Union and the Fight against Corruption: a Continental Development Architecture, amongst others

For a detailed overview of our speakers and their backgrounds, download the PDF version of the profiles here.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to engage with these thought leaders and gain valuable insights into the world of restorative justice.

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