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“Community service and mediation in the juvenile justice legislation in Europe. “

Schelkens, Wim.
June 4, 2015

Source: (1998) In Restorative justice for juveniles: Potentialities, risks and problems for research, ed. Lode Walgrave, 159-183. A selection of papers presented at the International Conference, Leuven, May 12-14, 1997. With a preface by Lode Walgrave. Leuven, Belgium: Leuven University Press.

The author notes the increasing interest in victim-offender mediation and community service as possible responses to juvenile crime. Victim-offender mediation and community service are basic to the model of restorative justice, which contrasts with rehabilitative and penal justice models. In the restorative model, the offender is viewed as an accountable and responsible person. In this model then it is necessary to establish the facts of the offense and the offenderxe2x80x99s responsibility for it. These needs heighten the importance of legal safeguards for the accused or the offender in the restorative model. Legal safeguards include due process in the adjudication of the offense, and proportionality in determining the offenderxe2x80x99s actions to repair the harm (e.g., through community service). The author questions whether in reality these legal safeguards are being adequately addressed by restorative structures. With this in mind, the author then examines juvenile justice legislation in a number of European countries to determine the extent to which legislation provides legal safeguards with respect to due process and proportionality, especially as regards restorative practices such as mediation and community service.


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