Source: (2003) Paper/Session presented at 'Building a Global Alliance for Restorative Practices and Family Empowerment'. The Fourth International Conference on Conferencing, Circles and other Restorative Practices. 28-30 August 2003 Veldhoven, Netherlands NH Koningshof Hotel. Downloaded 30 September 2003.

As experiments and academic debates about restorative justice are multiplying, restorative justice in Europe will not simply be talk but will soon be mandatory. In 1999 the Council of Europe adopted Recommendation No. R(99)19 of the Committee of Ministers to Member States concerning Mediation in Penal Matters. In 2002 the U.N. noted the Basic Principles on the Use of Restorative Justice Programmes in Criminal Matters. In 2001 the European Union went another step to make certain actions mandatory for its member states and those who want to join it. The E.U. Council Framework Decision on the Standing of Victims in Criminal Proceedings is binding and calls for implementation of its articles on penal mediation by March 2006. This presentation will describe the content of these standards and assess the extent to which governments will be obliged to conform. Special focus will be given to the consequences for the Netherlands and Belgium, particularly for children and youth and their victims. Author's Abstract