For or Against Restorative Justice?

Revisition to Bilbao European Forum for Restorative Justice 6th conference, dedicated to the 10th anniversary.

Society ” Agency of Development ” Pieci”” board member D.Anspoka encompassed the European Forum for Restorative Justice (hereinafter Euroforum) 6th conference, held on June 17th – 19th, 2010 in the Northern Spanish city of Bilbao.

For D.Anspoka this is the third participation in Euroforum organized event for Restorative Justice foregoing participations was in 2006 in Euroforum fourth Conference in Barcelona (Spain) and in 2008 Euroforum 5th Conference in Verona (Italy).

Purpose of this article is to outline current issues in Restorative Justice [1] (short for Restorative Justice) area in Europe and the world, which was discussed Euroforum 6th Conference on “Doing Restorative Justice in Europe Established Practices and Innovative Programmes Looking back and looking forward”

The conference brought together around 300 participants from more than 20 countries, representing North America, Africa, Eurasia, Australia. The largest number of participants attended from Belgium, Britain, Norway and the host country of Spain. For the first time The conference was attended representatives from Russia, who worked for the school mediation and victim-offender mediation. [2]

Stressful work, discussions in plenary sessions and working groups was held to share experiences, learn achievements of other countries, current issues in the field of Restorative Justice, and together identify challenges in the future as well. The conference was also an opportunity for informal discussion, and “networking” meetings.

The Conference was inaugurated with the speech of government representative from Basque, in which was expressed support for Restorative Justice ideas and emphasized the importance of the legal environment. Speech continued Euroforum Chairman of the Board Niall Kearney, who expressed his gratitude to organizers of the conference and gave a “pathname” for future work of the Conference by recommending to listen, learn and support each other, which is also one of the main requirements for Restorative Justice and mediation.

The first plenary session of the conference was devoted to the history of Restorative Justice, Restorative Justice definition and presentation of the values ​​and Principles. In the plenary session appeared Restorative Justice “pioneer” Howard Zehr [3] (USA).

In his speech H. Zehr looked at the history of Restorative Justice, mostly talking about the North America, expressing personal views and looking at the first case in the field of Restorative Justice, which took place in the U.S. in 1974 [4], where in a small town in North America youngsters caught for hooliganism probation officer Mark Janzi offered the opportunity to participate in the mediation process. First of all, the judge did not agreed with this new method and said that perpetrators has to pay a fine, but under M. Janzi management the perpetrators meet the Victims and they agreed about compensation amounts. This was resolution of this case in its entirety.

North Indiana and elsewere in United States probation officers began to Restorative Justice programs also H. Zehr prepared its program in parallel with the practical work as a mediator. In the program Zehr studied the following issues:
1.  Needs of the victim, “Needs for Justice”;
2. Offender accountability – for the offender to understand and take responsibility for his offense;
3. Consequences – due to concerns that the society is not involved in the conflict.

Zehr claims that the term “Restorative Justice” were first used in the 1950s.
In his works Zehr was influenced by Nila Kriestie works, such as “Limits to pay” and the other professionals from Europe that offense figured in conflict level.
1971 in U.S. took place the prison movement beginning and was started to look for an alternative to imprisonment as a penalty. Also victims’ rights movement and the U.S. had a major role in the development of Restorative Justice. By Zehr opinion in Europe mediation play more significant role than in U.S because in U.S. They do not bound crime to the conflict. All over the world there is development of this system and Zehr in global context viewed the question of Restorative Justice, focusing on New Zealand’s 1989 revolutionary law of Restorative Justice which plays an important role. In 1994, when Zehr gave a lecture in New Zealand, where he was acquainted with “Moorish system,” he concluded that people have used Mediation for 100 years.

A significant role in the evolution of Restorative Justice is in Canada, but about that in continuation.
In New Zealand prepared Law (1989) created a new revolutionary legal system in which Restorative Justice takes a major role. New Zealand is the only country in the world that uses language and methods of Restorative Justice. In New Zealand there are used various programs, such as the victim – offender mediation, family group mediation (conferencing) within a broader context of the offense.

In North America – in 25 countries victim – offender mediation is used in serious crimes. In schools and universities, where a young person most rapidly perceives new knowledge, there is talk of penalty using a Restorative Justice approach. There are organized programs for ex-prisoners, support groups of taking responsibility, also perpetrators of sexual crimes are involved in such support groups. Also, in prisons there are used Restorative Justice programs.

H. Zehr believes that the area of Restorative Justice grows and develops in fantastic scales, theoreticians makes even new researches. However, there are challenges:

1. Initiating ideas of Restorative Justice for place-holders in judicial system, who sometimes these ideas may seem “out of juridical thought”;

2. Misunderstandings with victims, because they think that mediation process is to forgive, but Zehr considers that the most significant role in mediation process is not to achieve forgiveness for the guilty person, but to get satisfaction of victims needs;

3. By H.Zehr opinion the U.S. is an individual nation that is obsessed with rights, which can be a positive and a negative aspect of Restorative Justice;

4. Different challenges, because mediation is related to the economic system and prison systems as well;

5. Must be careful with definitions of Restorative Justice, because question arises – whether it really does what it says;

6. Do we fulfill the promises to victims? We say that the main key of conflict is victim, but if it also reflects in reality;

7. How to continue the good practice, not allowing the bureaucracy to restrict Restorative Justice philosophy?

Despite a number of challenges in the field H.Zehr is optimistic, remaining faithful to the principles of Restorative Justice.
The main features of the conflict, which is solvable by Restorative Justice principles:

1. Damage – what is the damage, damage must be placed opposite of needs.
2. Commitment, responsibility, duty of the offender and community.
3. Compensation for the victim and community.

After historical introduction Zehr looked at the challenges in the field of Restorative Justice, for example do we – by asking provocative questions – fulfill the promises that we gave to the victim by saying that the Restorative Justice process are all about the victim and his or her needs. Same way Zehr asked how to continue good practice of Restorative Justice, not allowing bureaucracy to limit Restorative Justice ideas. Third challenge is related to organizations which operate in the field of Restorative Justice, it makes us think whether they actually perform their functions in the field of Restorative Justice, or simply idealize the subject.

Next H. Zehr talks about the characteristics of Restorative Justice basic principles, speaking of caused damage, responsibility and compensation to the victim and to community.
H. Zehr compares Restorative Justice practitioner and lawyer questions about a criminal offense (a criminal law conflict) which departs significantly:

Lawyers who do not practice Restorative Justice methods Restorative Justice practitioners
1. What is breached?
2. Who did it?
3. What will be the punishment?
1. Who suffered?
2. What are the needs?
3. What are the duties / liabilities?


H. Zehr crystallizes Restorative Justice needs:

1. Respect (for experience). Also perpetrators become more motivated when they feel that someone respects their experience. Disrespect in judicial system raises disrespect – it is important for perpetrator to feel esteem because sensing disrespect from relatives, affected ones, police, arises trauma! Respect is the main thing that operates in Restorative Justice. Zehr mentioned an example from practice – when the perpetrator to the question – what he expects from the mediation, answered: “That others respect me!”
2. Responsibility. Our actions affect the others, so we are responsible for them.
3. Relationship. H. Zehr believes that everyone is connected. Restorative Justice is about the fact that we are all interconnected. As we build relationships, creating a peaceful world. Restorative Justice focuses on people – these values have to work!

In conclusion H.Zehr mentioned practical examples, where the legal system officials believed in mediation, also examples that the same parties involved, seeing the effectiveness of mediation, later becomes mediators. Further philosophizing Zehr talks about the two views. First – that a person can do everything, other – it cannot do anything. However H.Zehr opinion on Restorative Justice is that maybe we cannot do everything, but we can do a lot! And this is what Restorative Justice “pioneer” H.Zehr wish (call) for everyone that is involved in area of Restorative Justice: “Do!”

In the first working group session D.Anspoka attended a working group, which included presentations by three presenters:
1. Daniela Bolivar (Belgium) with the topic “RJ, Victims and Their Supporters: some reflections on the victim’s community of care”
2. Michaela Wengert (Australia) with the topic “Strategies to turn silos into community of concern”
3. Katherine Doolin (United Kingdom) with the topic “A Twist on Civil Law Common Law Model: Comparisons Between the Belgian, NewZeland and English Approaches to Restorative Justice Youth Conferencing”

D.Bolivar launched Working Group (KU Leuven doctoral student), presenting hers research about Restorative Justice, victims and victims’ supporters. About this research the author will speak in more detail. D.Bolivar structured presentation of the researchbroken down by 6 parts: 1. Justification for the chosen theme 2. Objectives, 3. Sources, 4. Three statements about the society (for support persons), 5. Justice, 6. Discussion after the presentation.
1. D. Bolivar Justification for the chosen theme – essential in research on Restorative Justice is to look at a crime and social processes. And also it is important to compare the victim and perpetrator support from others expressing the hypothesis that the perpetrators receive more support from surrounding than the victims.
2. Objectives of the research: to popularize (pay attention to) reflection of the role of the victim in society and their supporters, to analyze it.
3. Research studied the victim-offender mediation and victims of crime and behavior of victims. 4. The damage caused by crime also applies to the relationship. The victim has lost confidence, appears social distancing, self-blame, feelings of guilt, the victim avoids situations that recalls experienced, victim is feeling worthless – all of these are consequences that affect for long-term. D. Bolivar explores these consequences, public involvement and mediation.

During the research, Bolivar gave a number of conclusions, for example, according to a British researcher Shapland (2006) view – the victim supporters less likely participates in group mediation (angl.conferencing) than perpetrators supporters.
In the second presentation, Mr. Wengert looked at the Australian experience, talking about New South Wales experience in group mediation (angl.conferencing). At the same time M.Vengerta looked at cooperation mechanism among criminologists, researchers, politicians and practitioners in the field of Restorative Justice in Australia.
In the third presentation was examined and compared Belgium, New Zealand and England approaches for young people group mediation (conferencing) methods, which studied the British Agent K. Doolin. In discussions in detail were analyzed the Belgian Youth Law, adopted in 2006th.

In the second working group session author visited school mediation team. School mediation theme is topical and can be viewed from different angles. For example, school mediation is necessary to teach students to resolve conflicts peacefully, that would ease their school life, daily life at school, later reducing the risk of destructive conflict. The second view is related to student behavior correction – Mediation at school prevents hooligan behavior recurrence. School mediation can also be viewed from a different prism – as criminal offense prevention (Martin Wright, “Towards a Restorative Society: a problem-solving response to Harm). According to M.wright viewand other practioners opinion, mediation in schools is a good start to change and improve society, to prevent possible criminal offenses by training students’ Restorative Justice methods.

Working group was formed for non-formal education methods. First spoke the Australian school mediation developers John Connors and Anthony Levett with presentation “Restorative Practices in Catholic School Communities in Melbourne”.
Anthony Levett talked about his experience in management of St. Dominica primary school with direction in Restorative Justice. In the beginning he talked about how many schools in area is involved in the mediation network (67 schools, for 7 – 12 year old students). In these schools improves skills in conflict resolution. Much is being said of forgiveness – use of Catholic values. To start operate school mediation in school it is necessary to implement five phases:

1. In Readiness or preparation phase works school director and team. Research explores a variety of practice models and other school experience with Restorative Justice methods. In school students are surveyed about how they feel, also parents are interviewed about schools quality. Then team trainings are being organized and school team provides feedback to the respondents.
2. In acquainting phase, students are introduced with model of implementation, using gaming. There is developed a code of conduct, for example, one of the conditions is “Play and let others to play”, etc.
3. In the implementation phase code of conduct is introduced to students, staff and parents.
4. In sustainability phase – new staff is being trained to use Restorative Justice methods, students is being involved in practice of Restorative Justice. For example, in surveys there is found that 75% of students important is safety in school and environment in the class.
5. Enlargement phase.

School Mediation started in 2003, Melbourne area in 7 schools and the number of schools that is involved increases. St. Dominica primary school operates from the 1925. School mediation system is help for staff, administration, students and the society.
John Connors – the other practitioner of school mediation from Australia talks about the fact about that in family parents do not teach their children, because they believe that everything need to be teached in school. He considers that punitive treatment does not achieve anything, that is why it is need to use Restorative Justice methods. For example, it is need to observe Catholic ethics in everyday life and there is being prepared a peer mediators, who at first runs mediation in games. J. Connors recommends a book on this subject (Wachtel T, 1999 ‘RJ in Everyday Life: Beyond the Formal Ritual “The Australian National University, Canberra).

Then the presentation started Belinda Hopkins (United Kingdom), who spoke about hers experience in school mediation (“From the RJ Restorative Approaches and practices. How practitioners and trainers in the field of education and residential care their practice has evolved in the last 15 years and where it May be going “).

B. Hopkins began hers presentation with short and general overview of the history mediation school. School mediation movement began in Canada 1974 – 1980. In 90s this movement continued in Australia and New Zealand, later in UK. In United Kingdom in schools and orphanages working practitioners saw the future of school meditation because of practise, if a young person is conducting hooliganism, theft or similar violations, hi is expelled from school. Practitioners tried to suspend this exclusion practice to prevent new offenses. In daily life of the school there is no time to do full group mediation (conferencing) [5] there should be used Restorative Justice principles in everyday life.

Restorative response to serious issues (serious situations).


Provide a series of “restorative” responses (reactions), daily challenges, conflicts, anti-social behavior.


Relationship building, social cohesion, allowing for each and every one to feel germane, development of empathy, trust.


B. Hopkins uses informal education methods, for example, in every class changing the layout of students, to break the barriers, also for children those are sitting alone, to making it possible to cooperate, to change and to actively participate.
“In healthy relationships there is no place for disobedient (riotous) behavior,” said Terry O’Connel and Belinda Hopkins using this quote as one of their guiding themes.

B. Hopkins has created a “need cards”, which are used to teach Restorative Justice in hers classes for young people in schools. Author also has created other interesting training techniques about whom more detailed information is being prepared and wider public will be able to see it in winter when B. Hopkins plans to complete and publish hers latest book on this subject.

In conclusion B. Hopkins underlines the important role of taking responsibility in Restorative Justice philosophy and practice.

The third presentation in the context of school mediation led mediators from Finland , marking 10 years of school mediation practice in Finland with the topic “What we have learned”. Presentation was led by Maija Gellin and Harri Voisanen. Authors of presentation from Finland found that in their country there is still great interest in school mediation, but it is very slowly introduced in the school culture. The second challenge in school mediation area that was pointed by representatives of Finland is how to increase real confidence in this Restorative Justice scope. And the third – how to justify Restorative Justice efficiency and what to respond for those people, who think, that their conflict can be resolved faster and better by themselves.

Finnish mediators response to these and other challenges is a permanent job in the field of Restorative Justice. For example, Finland has published a new book about mediation in Finland, society is being educated by organizing seminars on mediation theme, there is involved mentorships – parents, mediation takes place in virtual location creation, such as social sites, there is offered mediation training for teachers so that they can use this knowledge effectively in daily practice (many teachers already use Restorative Justice methods).

Good practice in school mediation is sat up in Russia, where it has been operating for 15 years. [6]

After the end of working group block started second plenary session, in which there was talked about the group mediation and its practice in the world. [7] With presentations appeared Belgian project manager Estelle Zinsstang and Joanna Shapland (UK). E. Zinsstang presented hers leaded project results. D. Shapland gave a presentation on victimology, criminal justice and Restorative Justice.

In the continuation of the article the author intends to look at this theme in more details because it is interesting to look at group mediation and to compare it with the victim-offender mediation. During the plenary session there were discussed question about need of a common standard, using Restorative Justice concepts, because Joanne Shapland compared Restorative Justice with the “umbrella” term, which leads to a small confusion because it is used by everyone in various meanings (look above where appears terms “restorative approach”, “restorative techniques”, etc.) The standards are necessary because we are talking about human rights. In reality, there are various practices, various legal systems and traditions.

The second day of the conference began with the third plenary session led by Austrian scientist Christa Pelikan. In plenary session Austrian mediator team played out the role playing game in which was included part of mediation to give an idea of the Austrian practice of mediation providing.

An example of mediation was a family conflict in which husband had hurt his wife, by smiting her during a dispute. After the event process facilitator referred the case to mediation. In this role-play Austrian representatives pictured part of the mediation process, led by two mediators at the same time – a woman and a man. In the beginning individual sessions (meetings) were held by individual – female mediator met with the victim, a male – with the offender. During individual sessions (meetings) were pronounced requirements of both parties. Important is to know whether the victim really wants to participate in the mediation process and also it is important to know whether the offender feel responsibility for what happened. If to these two basic questions responses are positive, mediators decide on a common victim – offender meeting. Conversation, of course, is held tactically and courtesy, the mediation process is being explained (the parties in this case previously by post has received an informative material). When parties shall meet in common mediation session, participates both mediators (male and female) and in the beginning, mediator (female) – by asking permission of the victim – tells the other mediator and the guilty person of what was told by the injured person in individual session and is permitted to retold to offender. Mediator asks the victim to stop and correct if narrated details does not conforms to the truth. When victims’ opinion has been told, mediator (male) tells the story of perpetrator what he found out in individual session (meeting). Parties don’t interrupt stories of mediators – they listen, then asks questions to each other – mediators intervenes only slightly by asking concretizing questions or paraphrase, allowing the parties to talk until they reach mutual agreement.

Representatives of Australia believes that it is correct for mediators to rephrase what has been said from both parties in mediation process without forcing to speak parties – in such way allowing them to see the conflict “in a different light,” which creates a distance effect – parties sees each other in a new way. This effect is also useful for family disputes. In this model, which is proposed from Austria we saw that mediators for both sides gives a little help with resolution searching. There is not given recommendations or advice directly, but for parties – is indicated a possible solution. If the parties do not speak at all, then a mediator recommends them a specialist consultation. If one of the parties does not recognize their status, for example in domestic violence cases where the victim is a woman, she tends to deny what has happened, in such case the mediation process does not befall. After role play, what was illustrated in the plenary session evolves discussions with representatives of Norway, where participants talk about the differences in criminal proceedings – there is mentioned Australias law against domestic violence, which governs the order in which the case may be assigned for mediation.

In the third working group session D. Anspoka attended working group of the Restorative Justice in Austria and Scotland theme. Representatives of both countries in role play portrayed the mediation process (due to time constraints – part of the process). Vigorous debates took place in this group, which focused on compensation of the victims and other major issues related to mediation. More about this working group – below.

In the fourth working group session, the author visited a group of “Professionalism and Conferencing” led by the United Kingdom ( Northern Ireland ) academician Tim Chapman and practitioner of Restorative Justice in Australia Michaela Wengert. M. Wengert spoke on the theme “Police trainings.” Tim Chapman raised questions about the professionalism of mediators, for example, he analyzed if the country of domicile shall determine mediators professionalism because in different countries there are different models of Restorative Justice. At the same time T. Chapman looks at the Northern practice of mediation.

Michaela Wengert introduces team members with the conclusions of the police training practices in Australia which incurs organizing trainings for local police officers, creating pilot work group, training senior commanding officers, and the officers conducting pilot project of police academy as well. The most important elements of the police training processes related to adult education sectors are:

1) need to know if the new knowledge can be applied in practice, at work;
2) Attach responsibility for what they learn;
3) It should be remembered that each one acquires material at their own pace;
4) Reference should be by the principle of “do not teach anything new, but how to apply …”.
Training includes knowledge + skills + attitude (most difficult).

Fourth plenary theme is cooperation of practitioners. The plenary is revealed by Norway’s representatives with question if the time has come when judges and prosecutors are able to implement Restorative Justice in their work. In plenary participates practicing lawyers, prosecutors, former police employee and the currently working in mediation center and the philosopher.

The fifth working group session was about the mediation of Russia, on what author writes below.
The fifth plenary session was in June 19th, 010.) In plenary session spoke rights scientists Gema Varona and Ignasi Terrada. Presentation of Ignasi Terrada was led by Christa Pelikan. Theme was on Restorative Justice, cooperation and the importance of individualism in it.

The sixth working group session was about the Restorative Justice higher education programms. Working group was led by head of the Institute of Criminology in Belgian Catholic University – Ivo Aertsen. And second presentation was led by Norwegian Social Research Institute senior researcher Ida Hydle.

After presentations of Belgian and Norwegian universities, the name was given to Tim Chapman (Ulster University), who presented Restorative Justice training opportunities in Northern Ireland, Belfast.

Tim Chapmam raised an idea of ​​an international networking at European level to build partnerships, exchanging of experiences, strengthen Restorative Justice programs in universities.

Croatian team member commented on the situation in Croatia, where is the practical activities of Restorative Justice, but the lack of theory.

Grazia Manndzzi from Italy (Ihsubria University) took the view that coordination at the European level is necessary, where teachers have the opportunity to organize the exchange of experiences to teach Restorative Justice programs.

In a result of working group, it was decided to establish a European-wide network of Restorative Justice in where program makers (teachers) have the opportunity to share experiences in order to strengthen the program.

Sixth – the closing plenary session. Plenary session was led by Ivo Aertsen. Plenary was a brief look back at the Euroforum in 10 years, looking at Euroforum constitution, tasks, activities in Restorative Justice area, target groups and the projects that have taken place and the new projects.

Challenges in the European Union for the Euroforum, challenges for Restorative Justice and Europe and the Forum:

1. Practice: diversification and flexibility

2. Implementation: national policies and structures

3. Focusing on the penal framework – the focus of civil society. There should be a balance, necessary of good cooperation with probation departments. Of latent crime, that about 60% of criminal offenses in EU remains latent – the police will never know about them

4. Positioning on victims, victim support centers, but not to be limited on those directly involved, but also on society as a whole, making it more peaceful

5. Qualitative research

I. Aertsen emphasizes that the most important is the motivation, energy for people who are with Euroforum who is the strength of this movement. Important factor is work of practitioners, how they work every day, and people who are struggling to implement this practice in their country – it is a movement. It is essential that there is encouragement, “the shoulder”, feeling because people who are involved in implementation of Restorative Justice feel lonely – it is need for support.

Niall Kearney, board chairman concludes the conference with thanking the organizers and participants.

After two years – 7th Eiroforum conference in Helsinki!

[1] Term “Restorative Justice” in Latvian is also translated as “Restorative proceedings”, It is a movement of legal system, which is sometimes contrasted with the so-called punitive proceedings which exists in criminal justice system, and whose principal thought is that the person who caused harm to the other person should be punished behalf of the State focusing on offense performer, often forgetting the needs of the victim, or even causing additional suffering to the victim. On the other hand Restorative Justice focuses on the victim and his or her needs and by satisfying these needs restoring the situation that existed before the crime. Restorative Justice and its methods (main method – mediation) are found not only in criminal rights but also in civil law and administrative law – in all spheres of life in which conflict is possible. Increasingly intensifies work with implementation of Restorative Justice practices in schools to teach children to constructively resolve conflicts from an early age – what in the future could change the public’s attitude towards the conflict and its consequences. More about Restorative Justice and the history of the main method – mediation in continuation.

[2] Victim – Offender mediation or VOM is more commonly used term for mediation process, where parties takes participation (with or without supporters) and a neutral mediator (the linkman). In the conference, especially after the Scottish participants presentations, there was a discussion about terminology – indicating this term conflict with the presumption of innocence (a person can be declared guilty by a court judgment), as well as inconsistencies in relation to the Restorative Justice philosophy itself in which is used special “rejuvenating” terminology. In Scotland instead of the term “victim” is used term “person harmed” and instead the term – offender uses the term “person responsible”. These concepts are used among Restorative Justice practitioners and in mediation process as itself. As highlighted Scottish mediators – talking to prosecutors and other judicial persons they use “other language” which is used by those officials in accordance with the legal provisions because the number of cases for mediators highly depends on the grace of officials who implies the case for mediators (in different countries there is different system in which the files are transferred to the conduction of mediation).

[3] Howard Zehr (USA) widely known as the “grandfather of Restorative Justice.” H. Zehr began his work in Restorative Justice in 1970s as a practitioner and theorist. H. Zehr continues his work advancing Restorative Justice principles and encouraging its growth on a global scale. He has led hundreds of activities in 25 countries and 35 U.S. states, including trainings, consultations, victim – offender group mediation (Conferencing), legal reforms and other issues in area of criminal law. H. Zehr contribution to Restorative Justice is particularly important for U.S., Brazil, Japan, Jamaica Northern Ireland, Ukraine and New Zealand. Writer and publisher, lecturer, training director and photojournalist – Howard Zehr actively operates as a mentor to other leaders in the field of Restorative Justice. More than 1,000 people have participated in courses and workshops in the field of Restorative Justice, led by H. Zehr. Many of them runs their own on Justice focused organizations, such as “Restorative Justice Council of Georgia State University”, “Mediation in Northern Ireland.” H. Zehr is one of the first who views needs of the victim as the central aspect in practice of Restorative Justice. Nature of H. Zehr’s work bases on honor for each person / respect for everyone.

[4] As it is generally considered in U.S. took place the first recorded mediation which was accepted by the court.

[5] “Conferencing” translated by the author as ”group mediation” (or “reconciliation meeting” – Restorative Justice method by which in conflict resolution occurs participation of a wider range of stakeholders than victim – offender mediation. Process of conferencing is led by mostly two mediators with the participation of the parties, supporting persons, if the parties are minors then parents or legal representatives or members of the public as well, such as police, social organizations, schools, etc. participates. Group mediation due its large number of participants is usually a time-consuming process because for each member is given the opportunity to express their opinion which of course is organized according to established procedures which in different countries may be different. In Latvia for example The National Probation Service performs its staff and volunteer training group in the method of group mediation, based on the Norwegian experience. However, the method of group mediation is used in other countries such as UK, Belgium and elsewhere.

[6] More detailed information about each of the topics discussed – in continuation.

[7] In continuation – more detailed information on group mediation (conferencing) and its comparison with victim – offender mediation.