Right to safeguards in terms of restorative justice services

(according to Article 63 of Law 4478/2017)

1. To protect the victim from secondary and repeated victimization and intimidation during provision of possible restorative justice services, where these are provided for by more specific provisions:

  • (a) Restorative justice measures are offered by staff trained to recognize the variable impact of the offer on the victim and to assess his or her specific needs. The victim shall be provided with information on where to access independent support and advice. The victim shall decide whether to accept or reject the offer after at least three (3) weeks have elapsed since the offer was proposed, in order to ensure his or her free and informed consent, which may be withdrawn at any time.
  • (b) Without prejudice to the competence and functional and personal independence of the competent judicial and prosecutorial authorities, restorative justice procedures shall only be applied if they are in the interest of the victim and the measures are intended to remedy the harm suffered by the victim as a result of the offence committed and to prevent further harm.
  • c) The offender must have recognized the essential facts of the case.
  • (d) The victim shall receive full and objective information on the procedure and the likely outcome of that procedure, as well as on the procedures for monitoring the implementing any agreement and its results.
  • (e) The victim shall be offered support before, during, and after his or her participation in any restorative justice proceedings.
  • (f) Any victim who prefers not to meet the offender shall be given the option of indirect mediation or any other appropriate measure unless the competent judicial or prosecutorial authorities deem otherwise. Any decision to the contrary shall state the reasons on which it is based. In any case, any attorney acting on behalf of the offender may submit questions to the victim through the mediator.
  • (g) Conversations in restorative justice proceedings that are not conducted in public shall be confidential and shall not be made public thereafter unless the parties involved agree or unless overriding reasons of public interest so require in the judgment of the competent judicial or prosecutorial authority.
  • (h) Any agreement voluntarily entered into by both parties and authenticated by the competent judge or prosecutor with the concurrence of a clerk shall have the force of evidence of a public document and may be taken into account at any stage of the criminal proceedings between the same parties.
  • (i) In the restorative justice proceedings, the victim or the offender may be given more than one hearing, at the request of the victim or offender, so that the proceedings and their results are fully understood.
  • (j) The victim who took part in the restorative justice proceedings shall be informed of the offender’s ability to fulfil the terms of the agreement.
  • (k) In the restorative justice proceedings, the parties to the dispute shall be provided with information that is beneficial to both parties.
  • (l) In the restorative justice proceedings, both parties to the proceedings may be represented by counsel or in person.

2. When restorative justice proceedings are appropriate, victim support and care services shall encourage the victim to visit the restorative justice services.

Definition “Restorative Justice”

“Restorative justice” means the procedures expressly provided for by a legal provision through which the victim and the perpetrator of a criminal offence may, with their free consent, before the competent judicial or prosecutorial authority, actively participate in the resolution of disputes or claims between them arising from the offence.

(Law 4478/2017, Part Four, Article 1, par. 1e)


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