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Critical Reflection on the Development of Restorative Justice and Victim Policy in Belgium

Lemonne, Anne
June 4, 2015

Source: (2005) Workshop 2: Enhancing Criminal Justice Reform Including Restorative Justice, 22 April, Item 8 (b) of the provisional agenda, at the Eleventh United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, Bangkok, Thailand. Downloaded 20 May 2005.

The challenges of the criminal justice system, including the needs of crime victims and the growing
attention for restorative justice as an alternative to retributive criminal procedures, have attracted the
attention of the United Nations Congress in Bangkok (April 2005). This paper unites both interests in
analysing the evolution and implementation of restorative justice practices in Belgium in light of the
developments concerning the policy in favour of victims in the same country. In this paper, we will
essentially analyze the evolution of the position of victims of crime committed by adult offenders.
Therefore, the first part of our contribution discusses the victim policy developments in Belgium. The
second part deals with the description of restorative justice developments for adult offenders at the
level of policy and practices in the same country. Finally, the last part of this contribution focuses on
the parallels between policies and practices in both fields and in particular aims to argue how
restorative practices for adult offenders and victim policy currently implemented in Belgium answer to
the victim’s needs and rights, as they have been formulated by the Belgian National Forum for Victim
Policy. In addition, we will explore the complementarity between restorative justice developments
and the policy in favour of victims, which transcend the Belgian boundaries. Our discussion is mainly based on analyses of national legislation, on results of evaluative research having already been
conducted in the field of restorative justice and on ongoing research regarding the consideration of
victims in the criminal justice system in Belgium, and on the study of the scientific literature on victim
policy and restorative justice. It is therefore to be considered as an inductive process of reflection,
which can produce new research questions and more profound empirical analyses. (excerpt)


AbstractCourtsEuropePolicePolicyPrisonsRestorative PracticesRJ and the WorkplaceRJ in SchoolsRJ OfficeStatutes and LegislationTeachers and StudentsVictim Support
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