Source: (1998) In, Beata Czarnecka-Dzialuk and Dobroncha Wojcik, eds., Juvenile Offender-Victim Mediation. Warszawa: Oficyna Naukowa. Pp. 10-14.

In opening this conference on mediation in juvenile justice cases, Wolfgang Rau explains the work of the Council of Europe in the field of juvenile delinquency, juvenile criminal law, and mediation. The Council has long considered the well-being of young people to be essential to any society. Hence, the Council has given much attention to problems of juvenile delinquency and related matters. From a number of studies conducted for the Council, two ideas are prominent: (1) criminal justice and other interventions should be kept to the strictest minimum; and (2) the public should play an active role in dealing with juvenile delinquency. On this basis, Rau comments on the importance of victim-offender mediation as an alternative to formal criminal justice and as an opportunity for community participation in responding to juvenile delinquency; and he summarizes the work of the Council in advancing mediation in this sphere.