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April 9, 2009

Ninth Annual Symposium on Dispute Resolution to take place at Law School on April 23, 2009

Symposium features keynote presentation, “Restorative Justice: Putting a Spotlight on Harm and the Personal Dimensions of Crime,” by Dr. Marilyn Armour, associate professor at the University of Texas School of Social Work

What: Dispute Resolution Symposium
When: Thursday, April 23, 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Keynote address, 9:30 a.m.–noon
Where: Eidman Courtroom and Jury Room, UT School of Law
Who: The public is invited to attend all presentations

A keynote presentation on restorative justice will highlight the Ninth Annual Spring Symposium on Dispute Resolution on Thursday, April 23, 2009. The symposium, hosted by the Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution at the University of Texas School of Law, will also feature six UT graduate and law students presenting research on various dispute resolution topics. The keynote presentation will feature Dr. Marilyn Armour of the UT School of Social Work. In addition to the keynote presentation, the symposium will feature panelists Ronnie Earle, former district attorney for Travis County; John Sage, of Bridges to Life; and Mark Odom, of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. The public is invited to attend all symposium presentations.

The symposium culminates the ninth year of the interdisciplinary Graduate Portfolio Program in Dispute Resolution. Through this Portfolio Program, law and graduate students from ten different academic units at The University of Texas at Austin pursue a focused curriculum of theory, skills, and research on dispute resolution.

The keynote presentation, “Restorative Justice: Putting a Spotlight on Harm and the Personal Dimensions of Crime,” will discuss restorative justice as a social reform movement and as a means of dispute resolution. Armour will address the fast rise in the development of this approach, what the results show about restorative justice practices, and how restorative justice is widening the circle by applying its principles to a variety of social issues, including family violence, school misconduct, and interethnic conflict. UT Law Professor Eden Harrington will moderate a conversation between the panelists, incorporating questions from the audience. The keynote and panel presentation will begin at 9:30 a.m. in the Eidman Courtroom at the School of Law.

Marilyn Armour, PhD, is an associate professor at the University of Texas at Austin and the director of rhe Institute for Restorative Justice and Restorative Dialogue. She has written numerous articles and book chapters, including “The Ultimate Penal Sanction and ‘Closure’ for Survivors of Homicide Victims,” coauthored with Mark Umbreit, which appeared recently in the Marquette Law Review. She and Umbreit are also coauthors of the forthcoming book Restorative Justice Dialogues: A Research-Based Approach to Working with Victims, Offenders, Families, and Communities. As a researcher, Armour has focused on the effectiveness of restorative justice interventions, clinical interventions for survivors of homicide victims, survivorship in Holocaust survivors, and the impact of the ultimate penal sanction on survivors in Texas and Minnesota.

From 8:55 a.m. to 9:25 a.m. and from 1:20 p.m. to 4:10  p.m., graduate students from the School of Social Work, LBJ School of Public Affairs, and the School of Law will present their research on topics including arbitration in family law, mandatory domestic violence assessments in suits for dissolution of marriage in Texas, small state mediation, and the role of mediation in social work. Student presentations will be in the Eidman Courtroom and the public is invited to attend.

The Spring Symposium on Dispute Resolution is sponsored by the Construction Law and the Alternative Dispute Resolution sections of the State Bar of Texas.

Visit the website of the Graduate Portfolio Program in Dispute Resolution for a schedule of the symposium's events and to find more information on dispute resolution:
http://www.utexas.edu/law/academics/centers/cppdr/portfolio/

Contact: Mary Gaski, Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution,
512-471-3507