Source: (2001) European Journal of Crime, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice. 9(4): 291-298.

In this issue Marianne Löschnig-Gspandl introduced the new legal regulations for diversion in Austria, which have been in force since 1 January 2000. Thus in my contribution I can confine myself to empirical data and will outline the application of the new rules in Austria in the year 2000. For reasons of space I have to limit my comments to the main findings. Above all, I have omitted details on the regional distribution of diversion. First, results indicated that the application of the new rules of diversion differed according to the region. In western Austria the willingness to divert a suspect is, on the whole, greater than in eastern Austria. However, concerning sentencing disparities the difference in diversional measures between the four high regional court areas in Austria is less marked…. Summarizing the first experiences with the new rules, diversion in Austria in principle seems to be a success. On the one hand, suspects committing minor offences do not have to be convicted. Furthermore, they have to argue with the victim and/or the offence in a more active way at least in cases of community service, or by fulfilling obligations or victim/offender mediation. On the other hand, the status of victims has improved both psychologically – at least in mediation cases – and in regard to financial damage. Victims are not mere witnesses. They are taken seriously in the diversion procedure and moreover have the chance to get a quick compensation. (excerpt)