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“Critical Assessment of Community Service and Mediation for Juvenile Offenders in Brussels: A Discussion of the Project BAS!”

Eliaerts, Christian
June 4, 2015

Source: (1998) In Restorative Justice for Juveniles: Potentialities, Risks and Problems, Lode Walgrave, ed., Leuven, Belgium: Leuven University Press.

The implementation of community service (CS) and especially victim-offender mediation raises numerous questions in Brussels (and Belgium). Although CS is often presented as a restorative measure, it obviously also incorporates some punitive elements. Therefore, we claim that only a judge can impose this sanction. A lack of legal rules in Belgium, however, gives way to an ambiguous application of CS, which might be seen as disrespectful of the minor’s legal rights. The organisation of victim-offender mediation still triggers a lot of unanswered, fundamental questions. Together with, again, a lack of legal rules, this causes a vague and questionable practical implementation of the mediation-technique, especially as regards the legal rights of minors.


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