Source: (2006) Papers presented at the Fourth Conference of the European Forum for Restorative Justice, “Restorative justice: An agenda for Europe”, Barcelona, Spain, 15-17 June 2006.

New legislation on mediation procedure has recently been adopted in Finland. Act on Mediation in Criminal and Certain Civil Cases has come into force on 1st January 2006 (further on referred to as the Act). The Act contains provisions on the administrative organization of mediation services, government compensation for operation expenses and the procedure for carrying out mediation. The primary scope of application of the Act is victim offender mediation. The civil cases that may be handled on the basis of the Act are restricted to minor cases only. There is a separate act which regulates judicial mediation, i.e. a procedure in which a general court judge may act as a mediator in a civil case or a petition. Claims for damages based on a crime may, however, always be dealt with in the same mediation procedure as the crime itself, regardless of, for example, the amount of the damages. This presentation is focused solely on victim offender mediation and application of the law to criminal cases. (excerpt)