Source: (2012) Paper presented at the 1st International Symposium on Restorative Justice and Human Rights. 2-7 June 2012, Skopelos Island, Greece.

The concept of Restorative Justice draws its roots from ancient times; however, its problematic created during the nineties an international movement and a unique regulatory theory which premises new intervention strategies and practices with new tools and new reformative methods of dispensation of justice. More specifically, as a general rule, Restorative Justice offers a practical alternative justice through the development and enforcement of formal and informal practices that complementary and alternative compared to traditional regulation under the legal systems and especially in criminal justice. In Greece, Restorative Justice appears in institutional level the last decade and its practices apply formally or informally complementary also as alternative solutions. It applies in a series of crimes which are foreseen by the Greek Penal Code as well as in civil and commercial affairs. The practice of mediation comprises the basic expression and instrument of restorative justice and it is foreseen by the Greek Law through a series of modern enactments. However, except for the institutionalized practices it is possible the informal mediation by the Police and through its institutions, in order the defendant and potential parties to resolve their disputes by avoiding judicial actions. This article analyzes the level of informal mediation as an effective police practice of restorative justice, the role it can play through mediation to resolve certain disputes in civil institutions which are provided and may be solved by alternative forms of redress, prospects for reform of the institutional role of the police, with new tools, new perspectives and criteria. In addition a twofold model “Police-mediation”, highlighting the parameters to enhance public confidence in informal mediation cases the police to resolve civil disputes or lack thereof and circumvention of their legal rights through the existing institutional framework provided by the practice of mediation. (author's abstract)