Mediation of crimes and disputes
Mediation is based on the Law Concerning the Mediation of Criminal Cases and Certain Civil Cases (Mediation Act, 1015/2005). The purpose of mediating criminal cases is to offer the parties an opportunity of encountering each other and compensating for the damages caused by the crime. The encounter is made possible by trained volunteer mediators working under the professional guidance of a mediation office.
In mediation the victim and the offender encounter each other and get an opportunity of dealing with the crime in ways that suit them. The criminal-law side of the case is not decided in mediation, but participation in the mediation procedure may affect the potential legal consequence, so that the punishment is mitigated or criminal-law measures are dropped altogether.
The initiative for mediation can be taken by either party to the crime, the parents of an underage child, a police officer, the prosecutor, a social welfare authority, or another authority. If the crime has involved violence against the suspect’s spouse, child, parent, or a similarly close person, the initiative for mediation can be taken only by a police officer or prosecuting authority.
What is mediated?
Mediation is possible in crimes that have a victim and an offender. The offender must have admitted the act. The suitability of the case for mediation is assessed by the mediation office. Mediation is also possible in offences committed by persons under 15 years of age. The offences most commonly mediated are assault, malicious damage, theft, petty theft, and vandalism.