From the Bench to the Circle: Rodrigo Rodrigues Dias’ Holistic Approach to Justice

Amidst the rich tapestry of voices advocating for alternative methods in the realm of justice, Rodrigo Rodrigues Dias stood out distinctly during his recent presentation. With a formidable academic background and extensive experience in the legal field, Dias provided invaluable insights into his multifaceted role as a judge, mediator, peacemaking circle facilitator, and instructor.

Dias’ journey began at the renowned University of São Paulo (USP) where he pursued his Law degree. This strong foundation was further fortified with a Master’s in Social Sciences from the State University of Western Paraná (Unioeste) and culminated in a PhD in Law from the University of Vale do Rio dos Sinos (Unisinos). Such rich academic pursuits set the stage for Dias’ subsequent career, which went far beyond the conventional realms of justice.

During his presentation, Dias recounted his experiences and observations as a mediator. Unlike the traditional adversarial courtroom settings, mediation, as Dias pointed out, focuses on understanding, communication, and mutual resolution. Through captivating anecdotes and examples, Dias highlighted the power of dialogue in resolving conflicts, often achieving more sustainable outcomes than traditional punitive approaches.

However, what truly set Dias’ presentation apart was his emphasis on peacemaking circles. Borrowed from indigenous traditions, these circles prioritize community, healing, and collective problem-solving. Dias, as a facilitator of these circles, underscored their transformative potential in addressing conflicts, especially in cases involving the youth. He argued that these circles not only resolve the immediate dispute but also foster a sense of community responsibility and mutual respect.

Yet, Dias’ commitment to RJ and mediation doesn’t end with his duties as a judge or facilitator. As an instructor of mediators and facilitators, he is actively involved in grooming the next generation of professionals who are equipped with the skills and empathy required for these alternative justice methods. Dias emphasized the importance of rigorous training, experiential learning, and continuous reflection for mediators and facilitators to be effective in their roles.

Concluding his presentation, Rodrigo Rodrigues Dias left the audience with a profound thought – the essence of justice isn’t just about retribution or deterrence; it’s about healing, understanding, and fostering a more compassionate society. Through his endeavors at Cejusc and beyond, Dias champions a holistic approach to justice that recognizes the interconnectedness of individuals and communities

For the attendees, Dias’ presentation was not merely an academic discourse. It was a compelling narrative of hope, a testament to the fact that the rigid structures of the legal system can indeed be reimagined to be more inclusive, compassionate, and restorative.