Source: (1998) In Support for crime victims in a comparative perspective, ed. Ezzat Fattah and Tony Peters, 99-110. A collection of essays dedicated to the memory of Prof. Frederic McClintock. With a preface by Ezzat Fattah and Tony Peters. Leuven, Belgium: Leuven University Press.

In this essay Fattah contends that victim-centered remedies to criminal victimization are superior to offender-centered punitive measures. He further contends that mediation, conciliation, restitution, and compensation are positive and constructive alternatives to what he deems the negative and destructive system of punishment. With these aims in mind, Fattah argues that the present system of punishment is bankrupt. Among other things, he sees this system as ineffective, counterproductive, costly, and degrading. It is even traumatizing to victims. Hence, there is an urgent need for a viable alternative. As an alternative, he maintains that restorative justice systems are superior to punitive and retributive justice systems. He sees restorative systems as positive and constructive, more economical, more effective, and truer to the nature of crime as a human conflict. He then describes conditions necessary for mediation to become an effective penal alternative: need for a paradigm shift; secularization of criminal law; removal of boundaries between criminal and civil law; use of mediation instead of punishment; and impartiality and neutrality in mediation. Fattah concludes that replacing the retributive model of criminal justice with a restorative justice model will signal the beginning of a new era in human justice.