Restorative Justice in relation to Mediation
Restorative Justice is a system of criminal justice in which the meeting is organised between the victim and the offender or the community at large . This system focuses on the rehabilitation of offenders and also on restoration and healing rather than retribution and punishment.
"Restorative Justice was originated in the 1970s as mediation on reconciliation between victims and offenders".
"In 1947 Mark Yantze , a probation officer arranged for two teenagers to meet directly with their victims following a vandalise spree and agree to restitution. The positive response by the victims led to the first victim -offender reconciliation program in Kitchener , Ontatio , Canada".
Three principle of Restorative Justice
The restorative justice works on three principles
Repair :- It helps in repairing the wrong caused by criminal behaviour of the offender.
Encounter :- The parties meet sit together and decide ' how to do'.
Transformation :- The main focus of this procedure is to bring change in people without giving any punishment.
Elements of Restorative Justice
It has five connected elements .
- Meeting :- The victim , offender and community members meet to decide 'how to do that'
- Narrative :- The victim get the opportunity to speak their self out and to explain the real impact of the crime to the offender.
- Emotions :- The emotions are shared by the parties over the matter concerned .
- Understand and Accountable :- The offender holds accountable to what he has done and take the responsibility by agreeing upon the terms.
Crime in which Restorative Justice is used
It is used for any type of crime but it is more used in less serious offences as compared to crimes of more serious nature. It is practiced in the Court system often with Juvenile offenders .
Restorative Justice for Juvenile Justice System
In the Indian context , a juvenile or chid is any person who is below the age of 18 years . And the juveniles of the age group 16-18 years involved in heinous crimes are tried as adults.
The Restorative Justice Concentrates on transformation rather than on punishment . So dealing with this practice , a juvenile can be kept out of the system of Court but he will be hold accountable for his criminal behaviour.
Pros and Cons of Restorative Justice System
Pros of Restorative Justice
- Helps in transforming the offender.
- Better than short prison sentences for combating repeat offending.
- Both parties decide by themselves to 'how to do that'.
- Stigma of crime from offender's life can be eliminated.
Cons of Restorative Justice
- Imposition of less harsh penalties .
- Repetition of offence by the offender is there
- The feeling of injustice , lack of empathy and disrespect can be seen towards the victim by the offender.
- It can also brought psychological harm to the victim if the procedure is not carried properly.
Similarity and Difference Between Restorative Justice and Mediation
- In both of them , a third party is there.
- The mediator/ faciliator is impartial and netural .
- In both, the parties come up with the decision themselves.
- In both, the willingness of parties to participate is required.
- In restorative justice focuses on repairing whereas in mediation the focus is on solving the dispute .
- In restorative justice the significant amount of interview is taken from victim , offender and the people impacted from the offence. In mediation it is not mandatory to take the interview.
- If there is a criminal case then one can opt for restorative justice but if the case is related to family , workplace or antisocial behaviour then one can opt for mediation.