Source: (1998) In Restorative Justice for Juveniles: Potentialities, Risks and Problems, Lode Walgrave, ed., Leuven, Belgium: Leuven University Press.This paper presents a theoretical framework for victim-offender mediation in Italy, implemented in some pilot schemes in recent years. One of the main problems that arise with mediation is where to place it in the context of criminal justice. Because of its structural characteristics, mediation occupies an intermediate area between criminal law and procedural norms. When adopted, therefore, mediation can modify the enforcement of criminal laws for juveniles (pre-trial or trial) and can undermine the principal guarantees embedded in our code of criminal procedure (due process, presumption of innocence, right of defence). In conclusion, mediation is seen as a new response to wrongdoing and as an autonomous paradigm of justice, differing from both the retributive and the rehabilitative ones because of its structure, protagonists, goals, features and political approach to crime.