Source: (2008) Report of the fifth conference of the European Forum for Restorative Justice, Building restorative justice in Europe: cooperation between the public, policy makers, practitioners and researchers, Verona.

The first part of the presentation commented on the role of crime victims in the course of mediation in penal matters from a Swedish perspective... The presentation aimed to a cautious but not negative outlook on mediation in penal matters with the objective that the victim should not become ‘the forgotten person’ in the mediation process... In the second part of the presentation, an effort was made to introduce the Council of Europe guidelines for a better implementation of the existing recommendation concerning mediation in penal matters... The diversity of the restorative justice programmes in Europe was decisive for the development of these guidelines by means of a structure into three separate sections dealing with awareness, accessibility and availability. The presentation outlined how the guidelines relate to the conference theme ‘Co-operation between the public, policy matters, practitioners and researchers and the role of various professional groups in raising awareness on mediation... The specific aspects related to victims in the guidelines were accounted for and analysed, in particular the section on quality which stresses the power imbalance between the victim and the offender following a crime and it recommends member states to be aware that the needs of the victim require special consideration before, during and after the mediation process. (excerpt)