In the form of a recommendation with accompanying materials, this document consists of an explicit recognition of the increasing use of mediation in penal matters and a set of principles to guide member States. The appendix to the recommendation provides a definition of penal mediation and general principles. It also provides more specific principles concerning the following: the legal basis for mediation; the operation of criminal justice in relation to mediation; the operation of mediation services; and the continuing development of mediation. An explanatory memorandum deals with the background to mediation in penal matters, and the Council of Europe and mediation. There are also commentaries on the preamble to the recommendation and on the appendix to the recommendation.