Irish Penal Reform Trust

European Commission: Restorative Justice and Crime Prevention

30th April 2010

This report from the European Forum for Restorative Justice sets out best practices and approaches to restorative justice in Europe. The report was published by the European Commission and conducted by the Italian Ministry of Justice.

Examples of best practice from the report:

  • In Austria, restorative justice is applied to youth and adult offences on a nationwide basis. In 2002 there were 1,500 child referrals and 7,000 adult cases referred to victim-offender mediation. Of those cases, only 14% of youth and 29% of adult cases progressed to trial.
  • Belgium has an alternative sanction-based approach towards crime with a focus on victim-offender mediation, an ongoing policy since 1991. 'Article 216 of the Code of Criminal Procedure', provides for the prosecutor to propose alternate measures including mediation. The 'Law on a General Offer of Mediation (2005)' allows for mediation practices to occur at any stage of the criminal justice system, and applies to any category of offence.
  • German criminal justice policies are aimed at social prevention of criminality, and restorative justice practices are therefore viewed as an effective means of achieving that aim.

To read the report, click here.

Respect for rights in the penal system with prison as a last resort.



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