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Martin Wright: Victims’ needs and rights

May 8, 2009

Many surveys (for example Shapland et
al. 2007 )have found that the great majority of victims who have
experienced a restorative process found it helpful, enabling them to
tell the offender the effects of his or her actions, and ask for
answers to questions, and the satisfaction rate is much higher than
when the cases went to court (although it has to be remembered that
cases are only referred to mediation when the accused admits being
involved in the offence).

Since so many victims benefit from it,
a restorative process should be offered to all victims, at any stage of
the process
, which is unfortunately not the case in the United
Kingdom.  This requires the availability of restorative justice
services throughout the country, which will be considered in the next

There should be general public
awareness of this;  victims and offenders in particular should
have the process explained to them; and all concerned should be aware
of it:  criminal justice personnel, police, lawyers, judges and
social workers.  Awareness of restorative methods should start in
, and these Recommendations should themselves be
widely disseminated
, and translated into all languages of the Council of
Europe, where this has not already been done

From “Restorative justice: Victims’ needs and rights; experience
of building up mediation services in the UK.” This paper was presented
Regional Forum on ‘Implementing Alternative Measures in
Penal Cases:  introducing and sharing experiences on restorative
justice and victim-offender mediation application for juveniles and
beyond’, organized in Tirana by the Albanian Ministry of Justice and
others, 25-26 February, 2009. Download the full paper.


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