Source: (1999) Publication of National Research Institute of Legal Policy, Helsinki, Finland.

This paper describes how crimes are dealt with in Finnish victim-offender mediation sessions and Finnish mediation is not a part of the criminal justice system but has frequent relations with that system concerning referral of cases and their further processing. The mediation movement has criticized the criminal justice system for its "facelessness" and inadequacy in dealing with emotions. Many judges allegedly prevent offenders from expressing their feelings of regret and from making apologies, considering those actions inappropriate for court proceedings. This study interviewed 10 mediators regarding their views on the role of emotions in mediation and observed nine mediation sessions and four criminal court sessions. Mediation often offered a forum for participants to express their moral emotions. In mediation sessions, it was easier for participants to initiate conciliatory moves, with a reasonable expectation that the other party would cooperate, than in more formal and adversarial court proceedings.


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