Source: (2001) Judicial Explorations (Justiteile verkenningen) 27(3).

This paper compares the processes of criminal procedure with those of mediation in responding to criminal offenses in the Netherlands. The author questions whether justice can be done without the involvement of a judicial authority; and notes that during the mediation process, public control and the satisfaction of the public's desire for revenge are absent. Also, the mediation outcomes are not made public, so there is no possibility of a public impact to achieve deterrence and a sense that justice has been done. Regarding the mediation conference itself, the parties involved cannot screen themselves off from each other. One party can interfere significantly in the life of the other party. In addition, unequal power cannot be sufficiently addressed and corrected. Still, the author believes that mediation can have a legitimate independent role to complement criminal procedure, but not replace it. The author advises that mediation can be especially useful when the participants share the same norms and values. The use of criminal procedure and the use of mediation both have benefits and limitations. These benefits and limitations must be recognized so that each can be used properly and in combination to achieve the maximum benefit for the victim, offender, and the public.