Welcome to the Victims & Mediation seminar
The Victims & Mediation Seminar will be held in 14-15 July 2008 in Lisbon, Portugal. This is an important opportunity for researchers and practitioners working in the area of mediation, victim support and justice.
This Seminar is being organized under the Project Victims & Mediation, co-financed by the European Commission, which envisages firstly to attain a more exact notion of the current standing and treatment information of victims in victim-offender mediation projects and programmes in Europe.
In recent years, victim-offender mediation has earned a greater attention by those whose mission is to provide support to victims of crime and whose assessment on this issue may be briefly expressed in following idea: mediation is a practice which may entail potential positive outcomes for victims of crime in recovering or minimising the effects of victimisation, if certain factors are adequately taken into account.
Among these factors one can highlight:
- the way in which victims are approached, briefed and offered participation in the mediation process in order to achieve their free and informed consent;
- the time granted to victims to consider their decision on whether or not they want to participate in the process;
- the analysis of the victims’ profile and suitability to ensure that their participation does not result in secondary victimisation;
- the preparation of victims to participate in the process (the so-called pre-mediation);
- the support provided to victims before, during and after the mediation process;
- the extent and limits of legal representation;
- the extent and limits of confidentiality within the process;
- the extent and limits of the offender’s admission of guilt;
- the possibility to opt between direct and indirect mediation;
- the training provided to mediators in specific victims’ issues;
- the cooperation between mediation services and victim support services; among others.
It’s a fact that the attention given to victim-offender mediation has grown in the last years and the debate stills continues. Therefore, the aim of this Seminar is to contribute to the protection of victims’ rights and interests within victim-offender mediation and to the development further research in this field, promoting a transnational cooperation, information and best practices exchange.
|Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation|