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The state of play of restorative justice in crime prevention and criminal justice in Greece

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Title: The state of play of restorative justice in crime prevention and criminal justice in Greece


1
The state of play of restorative justice in crime
prevention and criminal justice in Greece
  • Alternative Dispute Resolutions in the Juvenile
    Justice System
  • Effi Lambropoulou
  • April 2009

2
Action-civile
  • In general
  • The victims can ask either in the civil or in
    the criminal proceedings with their complaints in
    a civil lawsuit for compensation of damages by
    the opposing party

3
The present situation Formal Practices for
Adults
  • In specific
  • Suspension of prison sentence up to 3 years
    without probation
  • remorse and genuine willingness to restore the
    consequences of his/her offense
  • payment of court costs, restitution and just
    compensation of the victim

4
Formal Practices for Adults
  • Suspension of prison sentence from 3-5 years
    under probation
  • with one of the conditions ordered by the court
    to the offender being to fulfil certain
    obligations, such as the financial maintenance
    (board fees) or the guardianship of other persons
    (arts. 100?2f, 1063 GPC). Such a person could
    be the victim.

5
Formal Practices for Adults
  • Conditional release
  • the fulfilment by the prisoner of his/her
    obligations to the victim as much as s/he
    could, was necessary for conditional release
    (parole) (1951-1994), abolished, now applies
    only to those convicted for high treason

6
Formal Practices for Adults
  • Mitigation of the sentence
  • Remorse willingness to withdraw the
    consequences of the crime by compensating the
    victim are taken into consideration by the court
    (several articles of GPC).
  • Cease the prosecution annul the criminal act
  • Remorse full compensation

7
Formal Practices for Adults
  • Priority to the victim
  • In case of punishment with a fine the
    obligation to compensate the victim, if the
    incomes and the property of the offender are not
    enough for both
  • Community Service can be offered to the victim,
    if s/he is disabled and both agree, the victim
    and offender

8
Therefore,
  • The legal context exists, what is required is its
    support for regulations (frequent?) enforcement
    and the separate registration of their use in
    order to evaluate their effectiveness

9
Semi- -formal practices
  • At prosecutorial level
  • In petty offences a written order to the police
    to mediate
  • S/he keeps the most serious cases for mediation
    by him/herself
  • Can balance the costs and the benefits of the
    litigation (offender, society, victim) to cease
    the prosecution
  • Has the right of reconciliation in conflicts, for
    reasons of prevention
  • At police level
  • At court level
  • Settlement before the hearing, Cease the
    prosecution
  • Full compensation before the hearing, Release

10
Innovations (2003) Juveniles Legal context
scope
  • New measures
  • VOM, Compensation, Community service, 1,000 to
    an NGO, a public welfare institution or a
    non-profiteering legal entity through Diversion
    (means of D) Prosecutor
  • VOM, Compensation, Community service as
    (re)Educational measures Court
  • Involvement of Juvenile probation officers
    Social inquiry report, monitor support

11
Preamble (Law 3189/2003)Goals of
  • Mediation
  • To bring the offender closer to the victim and
  • make the offender assume responsibility for
    his/her offence
  • Restitution to have a positive impact on the
    juvenile

12
Law in action Another rough research
13
Law in action
Treatment measures punishment-Juveniles
Year No punishment (Re)Edu cational measure (Re)Edu cational measure restictive term Admission to treatment institution (half-open) Suspension of prison sentence Conver sion of prison senten ce
2006-07 5 1515 6 29 8 58
2007-08 29 1808 1 60 2 58
(1 community service)
Source Statistics of Juvenile Probation Service
of Athens Greater Athens
14
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15
Provisional evaluation RJ in Juvenile justice
system (JJS)
  • Introduction of RJ programmes is part of an
    effort to reduce court caseloads simplification
    of criminal litigations
  • The improvement of victims rights within the
    context of the penal procedure has been largely
    mobilised by the EU commitments of the country

16
Provisional evaluation, JJS
  • Several legal professionals are very sceptical
    about the concept of RJ in criminal law
  • for the compelling style of the court-based
    schemes which
  • undermine the purpose of RJ, since there is
  • no potential for genuine voluntary restoration
  • even when operating through diversion, the
    measures provide only for extra-court settlements
    and not for extrajudicial ones

17
Provisional evaluation, JJS
  • Obstacles
  • Most serious Lack of guidelines information
    about the procedure-no bylaws or circulars
  • Funding issues organisational infrastructure
    problems lack of staff and trained staff in RJ
  • There is still a long way to go before their
    satisfactory operation (step by step, pro
    contra, training)

18
  • Increase in severity of crimes, many foreigners
    without permanent residence, this makes very
    difficult their supervision more and more
    difficult for the officers to use light measures
    as expedient punishment
  • Extrajudicial forms give neither the security
    that the measures will be followed nor that the
    minors can be committed to follow them

19
  • The prosecutor is compelled to prosecute a
    criminal act
  • However posecutors are entitled to exercise
    exceptional powers of opportunity to discontinue
    cases without a trial
  • No such options for police officers
  • Principle of legality applies to the police and
    oblige them to investigate every single crime
    they have noticed and, subsequently, to send all
    their investigations to the prosecution service

20
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