Source: (2003) Paper submitted for the XIth International Symposium on Victimology. 13-18 July 2003, Stellenbosch, South Africa. Downloaded 21 August 2003.

As Gerd Ferdinand Kirchhoff and Saskia Baltes remark, historically German criminal law had two emphases: punishment (through fines and imprisonment) and security. Recently, the German legislature introduced into the adult criminal code and the juvenile code restorative provisions. For example, a sentence can be reduced or eliminated if the offender pays restitution to the victim. Also, there is the possibility of victim offender mediation – what Kirchhoff describes as the “horizontal dimension of justice.â€? Against this background, Kirchhoff explains the foundations and practices of victim offender mediation in Germany.