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Development of Restorative Justice: The Case of Penal Mediation in Belgium

Lemonne, Anne
June 4, 2015

Source: (2000) In, Lene Ravn and Peter Kruize, eds.. Kriminalistisk Arbog 1999. Pp. 131-147.

This article reviews the system of penal mediation introduced into the Belgian criminal justice system in 1994. After discussing that the concept of restorative justice has its roots in criticisms against the formal justice system, begun in the 1970’s, the author describes the emergence of penal mediation in Belgium. Stating that Belgium has been the scene of a number of recent scandals affecting both the legitimacy of the Belgian police and the Belgian criminal justice system, the Belgian Ministry of Justice conducted a pilot experiment from 1992 to 1993 in order to test the feasibility of establishing penal mediation in Belgium. Fully implementing penal mediation into the Belgian criminal justice system in 1994, the Belgian government employs mediation advisors in order to evaluate the effectiveness of penal mediation. Although penal mediation in Belgium is far from causing a “paradigm shift” in the Belgian penal justice system, this report argues that the current Belgian penal justice system is based on a retributive approach, with traditional trials, imprisonment, and fines still encompassing the bulk of criminal justice system solutions to crime. The author suggests that further developing the penal mediation procedure in Belgium is a worthy endeavor for facilitating a restorative justice approach to crime in Belgium. The article is in Danish. Abstractt courtesy of National Criminal Justice Reference Service,


AbstractCourtsEuropePrisonsRestorative PracticesRJ and the WorkplaceRJ in SchoolsRJ OfficeStatutes and LegislationTeachers and StudentsVictim Offender MediationVictim Support
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