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Artikel

Bemiddeling in strafzaken in België

Een blik op een gediversifieerde praktijk

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift voor Herstelrecht, Aflevering 1 2014
Trefwoorden Penal mediation, Justice assistants, Direct and indirect mediation, compensation
Auteurs Dieter Burssens, Alexia Jonckheere en Christophe Mincke
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Since 1994, public prosecutors in Belgium can propose ‘penal mediation’ to criminal suspects. The supervision and follow-up of this procedure are provided by ‘justice assistants’ (comparable to probation officers), who systematically record crucial information and register it in the national database SIPAR. An exploration of this database reveals interesting insights regarding the actual practice of penal mediation. On the basis of the available data we also examined whether or not we could find relevant correlations between characteristics of (offenders in) cases and the extent to which cases have resulted in an agreement and proper compliance with that agreement. Finally, for a better comprehension of the actual practice of penal mediation in Belgium twelve interviews with justice assistants have been conducted.


Dieter Burssens
Dieter Burssens is onderzoeker aan het Nationaal Instituut voor Criminalistiek en Criminologie in Brussel.

Alexia Jonckheere
Alexia Jonckheere is onderzoeker aan het Nationaal Instituut voor Criminalistiek en Criminologie.

Christophe Mincke
Christophe Mincke is operationeel directeur van de Operationele Directie van het Nationaal Instituut voor Criminalistiek en Criminologie.
Artikel

De maximalistische visie op herstelrecht onder vuur

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift voor Herstelrecht, Aflevering 1 2010
Trefwoorden maximalisme, rechtsorde, slachtoffers, rehabilitatie
Auteurs Lode Walgrave
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The authors latest book on Restorative Justice, Self-Interest and Responsible Citizenship has been discussed in this journal in 2009 and the author now responds to the critiques, which came from three jurists and therefore had a predominantly juristic character. Themes discussed are ‘criminal justice and punishment’, ‘restorative justice and the law’, ‘restorative justice, the victim and public interest’, ‘restorative justice and the legal order’ and finally ‘restorative justice and offender rehabilitation’. Walgrave maintains and clarifies the views he developed in the book explaining why it is correct to claim that criminal justice can be identified as fundamentally punitive (although it does not always punish, as one critic has observed) and that it should be possible to elaborate restorative justice into a completely new legal system, offering legal guarantees fitting to what restorative justice is trying to achieve. Legal guarantees as they exist today in criminal procedure cannot be taken as the benchmark for restorative procedures in view of the totally different aims and procedures. Furthermore, it is not true that the victim gets too much power in restorative justice – as one critic stated – because restorative justice is and should be conceived as a system of public law, involving the legal agencies and authorities such as courts in a proper role as guardians of every citizin’s dominion. It is because of the safeguarding of dominion that the victim should have a key-role to play in restorative justice, although not obliged to participate.One critic has mentioned that Walgraves ideas seem to imply that the legal order is only something being imposed upon the citizens ‘top down’, while in many respects one could maintain that the law and the principles of the legal order have been produced ‘bottom-up’ or at least should be the result of democracy. The response is that restorative procedures offer more opportunities for citizens for this democratic participation in producing the norms of the law.Finally some have argued that the rehabilitative interests of the offender should have a more central place in the definition of restorative justice, more or less of the same importance as restoring the harms of the victim. Walgraves experiences with the Belgian model of juvenile protection made him cautious of the risks of doing so, not only in terms of serving the victims needs, but also in terms of the legal protection of the juvenile offender against arbitrary interventions.


Lode Walgrave
Lode Walgrave is emeritus hoogleraar jeugdcriminologie van de Katholieke Universiteit Leuven.
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