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

The author notes that family group conferences have been featured in attempting to implement the principles of restorative justice for juveniles in many western countries. In critiquing family group conferences, the author begins by noting that the immaturity of young offenders implies the need for an educational approach in any criminal-law reaction to juvenile offenses. The author then analyzes the core of the family conference process, which is a combination of a mediation process between offender and victim as well as a family consultation. The author argues that this combination of objectives in family conferences places a heavy burden on both the young offender and the victim. The author concludes that the process of family conferences fails to instruct the young offender in positive social behaviors related to the particular offense that is the focus of the conference.