Source: (2000) International Review of Victimology 7(4): 305-332.

The article describes the theoretical framework of restorative justice from a victim perspective. In light of the results of empirical -- mostly victimological -- research, victim/offender mediation (VOM) is regarded as a victim-related approach that puts the victim in a better position than do regular criminal proceedings. Austria and Germany have made VOM available for cases involving both adult and juvenile offenders. The article includes a comparative overview of provisions available to impose compensation and mediation in both countries, and compares official statistics. The different rates of application lead the authors to conclude that VOM is of great practical relevance in Austria, whereas the German criminal justice system is still unwilling to apply VOM to a similar extent. The authors find this particularly disturbing in light of the fact that demands for mediative reparation as well as for additional punitive forms of compensation have been persuasively documented by victim research.