Provides a listing of articles on restorative justice developments in Austria. Articles appear in the order in which they were added to the site with the most recent appearing first.
- Restorative Justice is not only mediation
- I read the title and I thought it was going to be about RJ, but as usually it only speaks about mediation, and it is [...]
- Violence against women: restorative justice solutions in international perspective.
- Author: Fernando Vázquez-Portomeñe Seijas In Austria and Germany specialized intervention programmes have adapted the classic principles of penal mediation in order to work with domestic violence cases. This adaptation means introducing changes in several aspects: the duration of the sessions and intervention times, the support of both parts at the moment of presenting their interests, the incorporation of result controls and of the indirect (shuttle) mediation, the incorporation of probation periods and of balance dialogs… In this article will be presented some aspects of the practical execution of the programs: those related to the proceedings orientated to correct the power imbalances and reinforce the position of the disadvantaged part (empowerment strategies), particularly the incorporation of two mediators (a man and a woman) and the coordination with the institutions and agencies that can offer the “resources” that are necessary to reinforce the social links of the victim inside the community. (author abstract)
- Violence against women: restorative justice solutions in international perspective.
- from the paper by Fernando Vázquez-Portomeñe Seijas: Cases of isolated and slight aggressions suffered by victims with enough social and personal resources (who have denounced the facts or taken other decisions to finish with the situation of violence) are suitable for mediation. The resource to mediation should be excluded, on the other hand, in cases with incidence of chronic or long-term violence and domination. The aggressor will possess such influence and power that the probabilities of reaching a completely voluntary agreement and that this agreement considers the interests of both parts will be scanty.
- On the efficacy of victim-offender-mediation in cases of partnership violence in Austria, or: Men don’t get better, but women get stronger: Is it still true? Outcomes of an empirical study
- from the study by Christa Pelikan: Put in a nutshell, the core finding of this study reads thus: The efficacy of VOM in cases partnership violence is to a large part due to the empowerment of the women victims, but partly, albeit to a smaller percentage, also due to an inner change, to insight and following from that a change of behaviour on the side of the male perpetrators. These achievements cannot be understood except as part of a comprehensive societal change – a change of collective mentalities, or in other words: change of expectations1 regarding the use of violence in intimate partnerships.
- Grafl, Christian. Diversion in Austria: Empirical Data
- In this issue Marianne Löschnig-Gspandl introduced the new legal regulations for diversion in Austria, which have been in force since 1 January 2000. Thus in my contribution I can confine myself to empirical data and will outline the application of the new rules in Austria in the year 2000. For reasons of space I have to limit my comments to the main findings. Above all, I have omitted details on the regional distribution of diversion. First, results indicated that the application of the new rules of diversion differed according to the region. In western Austria the willingness to divert a suspect is, on the whole, greater than in eastern Austria. However, concerning sentencing disparities the difference in diversional measures between the four high regional court areas in Austria is less marked…. Summarizing the first experiences with the new rules, diversion in Austria in principle seems to be a success. On the one hand, suspects committing minor offences do not have to be convicted. Furthermore, they have to argue with the victim and/or the offence in a more active way at least in cases of community service, or by fulfilling obligations or victim/offender mediation. On the other hand, the status of victims has improved both psychologically – at least in mediation cases – and in regard to financial damage. Victims are not mere witnesses. They are taken seriously in the diversion procedure and moreover have the chance to get a quick compensation. (excerpt)
- Grafl, Christian. "Community service in Austria: Main results of a feasibility study"
- This article discusses the main results of a study on community service as a diversionary measure in Austria. The study was carried out in 2003 at four regional court districts and includes analysis of quantitative data as well as evaluation of interviews with social workers, prosecutors and judges. Regional differences in the application of community service show that its scope as diversionary measure has been far from exhausted in Austria. A nationwide uniformity and agreement concerning the application of community service as a diversionary measure is suggested as a precondition for its introduction as an independent sanction. (author's abstract)
- Government of Austria.. Jugendgerichtsgesetz 1988 - JGG.
- The text of this legislation is in German. It contains references to the use of mediation in criminal cases.
- Löschnig-Gspandl, Marianne and Kilchling, M. Victim/Offender Mediation and Victim Compensation in Austria and Germany: Stocktaking and Perspectives for Future Research
- Victim/offender mediation according to Austrian legal doctrine is the generic term for various ways of compensating victims. This includes compensation for any personal injury, loss, or damage caused, whether directly or indirectly, by an offense; reconciliation talks, apologies, and help for the victim; and community service or payments to public welfare institutions. In Austria, victim/offender mediation is a central feature of juvenile justice processing. Germany's criminal law provides for various forms and benefits of mediation for victims of juvenile and adult offenders. These include face-to-face meetings between victim and offender, as well as requirements that offenders compensate victims. From 1992 to the end of 1995, approximately 5,500 charges against adult offenders were settled through victim/offender mediation in Austria. In Germany, from 1977 to 1993 victim compensation imposed by public prosecutors declined from 1.5 percent to 0.7 percent of all dismissed cases. Compensation imposed in cases of court dismissals, however, remained constant at approximately 8.5 percent. In absolute numbers, this is approximately 5,200 cases a year. Evaluation research indicates that victims are most satisfied with victim/offender mediation programs that result in compensation for the victim. They are less committed to mediation that focuses on reconciliation and the resolution of conflict between the victim and the offender. 98 footnotes
- Pelikan, Christa. Victim-Offender Mediation in Austria
- Pelikan notes that Austria has a reputation as a conservative society with a punitive orientation in criminal justice. Yet through the 1980s and 1990s Austria has become a pioneer and leader in the field of victim-offender mediation. Pelikan details the conditions, innovations, and legislation that effected this transformation. The impetus came from a debate about juvenile justice in Austria, leading to changes in responding to offences through conflict resolution, with resolutions that could include victim-offender mediation, comprehensive compensation and reconciliation, and community service. The changes involved administrative arrangements, legislation, and experimental projects. Eventually, proposals were made to extend these changes to the general criminal justice system, including adult offenders and very serious offenses. This took considerable time and effort. Opposition came, for example, from the conservative sector and from the women’s movement (which, while supporting many aspects of the proposed changes, sought to exclude domestic violence cases from this approach based on victim-offender mediation as against established criminal prosecution). In time, though, legislation was enacted that began a process of moving the Austrian criminal justice system toward restorative alternatives, as seen in victim-offender mediation processes and outcomes. Pelikan details the legal context for mediation and mediators, policy and implementation structures and processes, and mediation programs in Austria. In the latter part of this paper Pelikan presents research statistics on the number of cases handled by mediation, types of offenses, characteristics of offenders, and outcomes.
- Marianne Loschnig-Gspandl and Kilchling, Michael. "Legal and Practical Perspectives on Victim/Offender Mediation in Austria and Germany."
- The article describes the theoretical framework of restorative justice from a victim perspective. In light of the results of empirical -- mostly victimological -- research, victim/offender mediation (VOM) is regarded as a victim-related approach that puts the victim in a better position than do regular criminal proceedings. Austria and Germany have made VOM available for cases involving both adult and juvenile offenders. The article includes a comparative overview of provisions available to impose compensation and mediation in both countries, and compares official statistics. The different rates of application lead the authors to conclude that VOM is of great practical relevance in Austria, whereas the German criminal justice system is still unwilling to apply VOM to a similar extent. The authors find this particularly disturbing in light of the fact that demands for mediative reparation as well as for additional punitive forms of compensation have been persuasively documented by victim research.
- Pelikan, Christa. On the efficacy of victim-offender mediation in cases of partnership violence in Austria, or: Men don't get better, but women get stronger: Is it still true? Outcomes of an empirical study.
- Put in a nutshell, the core finding of this study reads thus: The efficacy of VOM in cases partnership violence is to a large part due to the empowerment of the women victims, but partly, albeit to a smaller percentage, also due to an inner change, to insight and following from that a change of behaviour on the side of the male perpetrators. These achievements cannot be understood except as part of a comprehensive societal change – a change of collective mentalities, or in other words: change of expectations1 regarding the use of violence in intimate partnerships. (excerpt)
- Bruckmuller, Karin and Koss, Christoph. Diversion for promoting compensation to victims and communities during the pre-trial proceedings in Austria.
- The idea to promote compensation by the offender to the victim has a relatively long tradition in Austria. Its two aspects -- the offender actively accepting responsibility and the victim simultaneously receiving compensation -- have played a role in Austrian criminal law for over 200 years. The institution of so called "active repentance" was established in the Criminal Code in 1787, and is still in force for offences explicitly mentioned in the Code (especially in the case of offences against property). If the offender manifests repentance by compensation or reparation of the overall damage resulting from the offence, no punishment shall be imposed. This act of repentance, based on its acceptance by the offender, must take place before the police authorities become aware of the ofender's guilt. (excerpt)
- Pelikan, Christa. Victim-offender mediation in domestic violence cases-a research report
- In this paper, Pelikan examines the results of empirical research into the issue of victim-offender mediation in domestic violence cases, with emphasis on the situation in Austria.