Source: (1995) European Journal of Crime, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice. 3(3): 230-240.After reviewing the history of orientation toward victims in western European countries' criminal justice systems, this paper discusses the legal position of the victim in criminal justice in the former socialist states of eastern Europe as well as victim- offender mediation in the former socialist states within extrajudicial mechanisms. The penal legislation of the former socialist states gave the crime victim a minor role in the criminal justice system. Despite proclaimed attempts to mobilize citizens in the pursuit of governmental goals, official control of the criminal justice process was tight. Abstract courtesy of National Criminal Justice Reference Service, www.ncjrs.org.