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Victim-centred restorative justice.

van Dijk, Jan
June 4, 2015

Source: (2013) Restorative Justice: An International Journal. 1(3):426-429.

In the 1985 Council of Europe (CoE) Recommendation on the Position of the Victim in the Framework of Criminal Law and Procedure, one of the earliest European legal instruments on victims’ rights, mechanisms that are currently known as restorative justice (RJ) were not included in the primary recommendations but listed under a secondary, tamely framed recommendation ‘to examine the possible advantages of mediation and conciliation schemes’. In the same year, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the UN Victims Declaration, Article 7 of which exhorts member states to utilise informal mechanisms ‘where appropriate to facilitate conciliation and redress for victims’. This is one of the subjects about which European victimologists were at the time more cautious than those experts from other regions, notably North America, who elaborated the draft of the Victims Declaration in Milan at the UN Crime Congress. The other area where diverging views surfaced was the right to express views and concerns in criminal proceedings, which found its way into the UN Declaration despite opposition and a formal reservation from the UK. Such a recommendation was nowhere to be seen in the CoE Recommendation of the same year. Clearly American and Canadian opinions in Milan prevailed over the European reservations that dominated the deliberations in Strasbourg. (author’s abstract)


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