Cyprus Mediation Association

Restorative Justice

Aims at restoring the injustice done by a criminal, by bringing both, victim and perpetrator face to face. Refers to a process where all involved in a crime come together and investigate the harm done and the needs and responsibilities, aiming at healing and restoration. The thought behind this approach was the fact that the state doesn't concern itself for anything else but punishing the perpetrator. For the state, the victim's negative consequences and needs are not taken into account.

According to Howard Zehr there are 4 types of victim's needs:

  1. The information: The judicial system doesn't look into why the crime happened and also to what happened afterwards.
  2. The finding of the truth: It necessary for the healing process that both stories to be told, followed by recognition by the perpetrator of the traumatic experience he caused to the victim. He must fully realize the negative aspects of his doings.
  3. The empowerment: Victims often have the feeling of losing control over their bodies, their property, their feelings, their visions. Restorative justice gives them back their lost confidence and control over their lives.
  4. Balancing or justification: This process leads at public recognition. Restoration by the perpetrator means recognition and assumption of responsibility for his actions.

As far as the victim is concerned, it is a known fact that the judicial system is not interested in possible recognition by the perpetrator of the negative results of his actions. This renders him to more alienated. Restorative justice aims at making him more responsible person, to acknowledge the other's feelings and transform his own shame. Also he has an opportunity for therapy or elimination of drug addiction and become a useful member of society and often to self restriction from criminal tendencies.

Note: It must be said that restorative justice is widely used in Norway. The various cases are referred to the Mediation Service from many agencies including the police. The results are impressive. We had the opportunity to visit Oslo in April 2010 and we had the opportunity to watch the system in action and confirm the excellent work that is being done there.

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July 20, 2019
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