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.

It is quite appealing to defend the idea of restorative justice as applicable to more serious crimes and to see it not just as a diversionary measure. The enthusiasm which embraces this idea, and the few experiments we witness, veil the fact that in a quantitative way the impact of victim-offender mediation and conferencing remains very limited in most countries, and that in reality most restorative justice practices deal mainly with minor offences committed by juvenile offenders. How realistic is it to overcome the gap between theoretical ambitions and reality? (excerpt)