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27 June 2024

Where Law and Justice meets Crime and Punishment

Restorative Justice in the ACT

Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment is one of the greatest crime novels ever written. Raskolnikov is a figure who imagines himself above the law yet finds himself remorselessly trapped within it. Is he a psychopath, a visionary, or just a petty crim with delusions of grandeur? In a world in crisis, is he even—to his own surprise—one of us?

Join us for a facilitated discussion on law and justice and crime and punishment in Canberra, here and now. Led by law professor, author and playwright Desmond Manderson, the panel discusses some of the enduring themes in Dostoyevsky’s novel and how they speak to the world we live in.

To what extent does crime stem from experiences of trauma, injustice, and marginalisation? Are conventional approaches to crime adequate or counter-productive? What alternatives exist?
What is restorative justice and why is it necessary? How is it being used and developed and with what success? What does it mean to atone for one’s actions – and how does this atonement change the individual and society?

We invite you to join the conversation with Des and panellists Lorana Bartels (ANU Professor of Criminology), Richard Dening (Senior Director, ACT Restorative Justice Unit) Deborah Martin (Founder of Tjillari Justice & 2022 ACT Volunteer of the Year) and Adrian McKenna (Partner, Hugo Law Group & ACT Law Society’s Criminal Committee).

This is a free event, but reservations are essential to manage numbers. Please RSVP with name and telephone number via

About the Speakers

Desmond Manderson is known for his pioneering approach to exploring questions of law and justice through music, literature, history, philosophy, and art. As a Professor jointly appointed in the ANU College of Law and the College of Arts & Social Sciences, and as Director of the Network for Law, Arts and Humanities, he has developed many innovative cross-campus teaching and research initiatives. His latest play, Twenty Minutes with the Devil (with Luis Gomez Romero) premiered at The Street in 2022.

Lorana Bartels is a Professor of Criminology and Deputy Director of POLIS@ANU: The Centre for Social Policy Research. She was previously the Criminology Program Leader at the ANU and Head of the School of Law and Justice at the University of Canberra. She is also an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Canberra and University of Tasmania, a Life Member of Clare Hall at the University of Cambridge, a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law, and Director of the Justice Reform Initiative.

Richard Dening has been the Senior Director of the ACT Restorative Justice Unit since 2021. Prior to this Richard managed the Queensland Adult Restorative Justice Conferencing service, where he started as a Restorative Justice Convenor in 2013. Richard holds qualifications in peace and conflict studies, law, and conflict management and resolution. He was a volunteer facilitator of Alternatives to Violence Project workshops in custodial settings for more than 10 years. Richard has been a member of the board of Restorative Practices International since 2022.

Deborah Martin is the Founder and Volunteer CEO of Tjillari Justice. The organisation was established to help reduce the incarceration rate of local Aboriginal people and break the cycle of intergenerational offending. Deborah is a Stolen Generations survivor from the Djaru/Gidja nation in Western Australia. She has worked in the education and police sectors in Queensland and the ACT and has been member of the Sentence Administration Board. Deborah received the ACT Volunteer of the Year Award in 2022 and nominated for ACT Woman of the Year.

Adrian McKenna is a criminal defence lawyer and partner of Hugo Law Group based in Canberra. He is a member of the ACT Law Society’s Criminal Law Committee and regular commentator on legal reform. He has previously worked as an Associate to a Judge of the ACT Supreme Court and at the Yugoslavia International War Crimes Tribunal. Adrian is an Accredited Specialist in Criminal Law and has appeared in many well-known criminal cases throughout Canberra and the region. 

Street 3 | Unreserved | Duration 45 minutes
Click here for information on COVID 19 venue safety.

Stay for The Street performance at 7:30pm of the stage adaptation of Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment and experience a thrilling detective story of the soul. Book Here

More information

The Street Presents
Where Law and Justice meets Crime and Punishment
Restorative Justice in the ACT

Thursday 27 June 6.30pm
Free Event: RSVP Essential

in collaboration with ACT Law Society


**Photos: L-R
Des Manderson, Lorana Bartels, Richard Dening, Adrian McKenna, Deborah Martin (photo credit: Keegan Carroll, The Canberra Times).


15 Childers St,

City West ACT 2601

Directions & Map

Monday - Friday

10am - 3pm


Also opens

1.5 hours prior

to performance.


02 6247 1223
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