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Letter From Poland: Mediation in Polish Penal and Juvenile Law

Wojcik, Dobrochna
June 4, 2015

Source: (2004) Crime Prevention and Community Safety: An International Journal. 6(2): 61-66.

The concept of restorative justice recognizes the need to secure the interests and needs of the victim and offers the offender a chance to participate actively in that process and assume responsibility for the offense. The interest in mediation and restorative justice arose in Poland in the early 1900’s. In 1994-19995, an experimental program of mediation was created between juvenile offenders and victims. The results proved the effectiveness of mediation which laid the foundation for the introduction of mediation to Polish Penal Law in 1997. This paper discusses mediation within the context of Polish juvenile and penal law. Current Polish law on mediation is at its preliminary stage with a great deal still to be done to work out the desired provisions. Two specific problems are addressed which need regulating: (1) the law does not clearly stipulate the essence and purpose of mediation and (2) there is the question of obtaining the parties’ consent to mediation. Mediation in Poland, in practice, is developing very slowly due to multiple reservations: insufficient knowledge about mediation, lack of trust in mediation, and doubts of its effectiveness. Abstract courtesy of National Criminal Justice Reference Service,


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