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Jaar 2010 x
Artikel

De implementatie van dader-slachtofferbemiddeling in België

Zoektocht naar functionele en structurele randvoorwaarden

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift voor Herstelrecht, Aflevering 4 2010
Trefwoorden restorative justice, implementation, conditions for
Auteurs Hans Dominicus
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Victim-offender-mediation started in Belgium as early as 1993 and nowadays the Belgium landscape shows a variety of restorative practices, including conferencing with juveniles and mediation with adult offenders, on the basis of a number of legal arrangements. Progress can still be made in quantitative terms and qualitatively by harmonizing the various legal instruments that are available. The diversionary mediation that is possible at the level of the public prosecutor differs in a number of ways from the mediation that can be offered in subsequent stages of the criminal procedure. A variety of motives and reasons explain the reception and growth of restorative practices, such as the desire to offer victims a better service and to improve the delivery of justice. The willingness to experiment and to collaborate between protagonists of restorative justice and the agencies of criminal justice, and the strong scientific support from the Catholic University of Leuven, are amongst the key factors that promoted the integration and consolidation of restorative practices in the legal system.


Hans Dominicus
Hans Dominicus is attaché bij het Directoraat-generaal Justitiehuizen van de Federale Overheidsdienst Justitie in België. Hij is adviseur van minister van justitie Stefaan de Clerck.
Artikel

Reparatieve en herstelgerichte strafrechtspleging.

Een goed argument voor tweesporigheid in strafrechtelijk beleid?

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift voor Herstelrecht, Aflevering 1 2010
Trefwoorden tweesporenbeleid, gevangenispopulaties, detentieregime, reparatief recht
Auteurs David J. Cornwell
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Just over thirty years ago now, on 12th January 1977 to be precise, Sir Anthony Bottoms presented his Inaugural Lecture as Professor of Criminology at the University of Sheffield, UK. The full text of this almost prophetic Lecture was subsequently published in the Howard Journal of Criminal Justice and reached a much wider audience. One of its central themes was the emerging tendency within British criminal justice policy to treat really serious offenders in a significantly different manner from their less serious counterparts with whom a more lenient approach might be justified. This tendency he described as penal bifurcation.There were two reasons why such an apparently logical approach might be found exceptionable: the first relates to the general principal of treating like cases similarly, and the second that the practice was proposed on the basis of the relative extent of social risk that might be claimed to differentiate serious from less serious offending. Bifurcation in both of these forms is evident in the use within some jurisdictions of extended and indeterminate sentences for public protection, and in many respects also within parole release considerations.The central proposition in relation to bifurcation within this article is, however, of a somewhat different nature. Restorative justice places considerable reliance upon offenders accepting responsibility for their offences, showing remorse for the harm done to victims in the form of genuine apology, and then making reparation either to the victim(s) directly, or to victims of crime more generally. These principles apply equally to serious and less serious offenders, though the extent of reparation should logically be greater as the crime increases in gravity.In an era of widely increasing penal populations it is apparent that these escalations result from increased severity of sentencing on the one hand, and from wider use of custody and lower thresholds for imposing it on the other. Both forms of resort to custody in sentencing are increasingly justified on the basis of public protection, and to act otherwise is perceived (and often promoted in the media) as being ‘soft on crime’. Politicians anxious to retain electoral credibility do not wish to be labelled as soft on crime, and actively seek to avoid such accusations by supporting increasingly punitive measures against offenders.One of the reasons why restorative justice has attracted only limited acceptance in the world of adult criminal justice is that it is perceived as a less punitive response to offending than the more traditional retributive punishment mode or its ‘justice model’ desert-based counterpart. In the span of this article I shall attempt to describe how, with a respectable measure of bifurcation, a model of reparative and restorative justice can be presented as a viable and optimistic alternative to the penal politics of retributive punishment and social protection. That it might bring with it the potential for reduced use of custody will be left to the reader to decide.


David J. Cornwell
David J. Cornwell is criminoloog en consulent, gespecialiseerd in gevangenisvraagstukken. Hij heeft meerdere recente boeken op zijn naam staan, waarvan de laatste The penal crisis and the Clapham Omnibus in 2009 verscheen. Het (vertaalde) artikel in dit tijdschrift maakt deel uit van het genoemde boek.
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