Restorative Justice

Restorative justice provides the theoretical foundations for the approach we take to mediation.

Restorative justice is an approach to justice where disputes, crimes, and conflicts are perceived beyond violations to laws and norms as also violations of interpersonal relationships.

Restorative justice intervenes in social conflicts and relationships in a constructive, transformative way.

Restorative justice focuses on the relationships and harm done, rather than the rules of law that have been broken. It takes an inclusive and participatory approach to conflicts. 

Restorative justice is equally concerned with victims and offenders. By involving both in the process and giving both a voice during the process there is an opportunity for dialogue and expression of harms and needs. Restorative justice works toward restoration of victims and their empowerment, but also supports offenders in excepting responsibility. 

There has been increasing international attention to restorative justice due to the positive and long-lasting results it offers. We follow closely the international development of the methods, practices and standards in the field of restorative justice.

Restorative principles in mediation

Mediation is a conflict resolution method, which can be applied into a wide range of situations and needs. Different mediation models are based on different ideologies, values and theories. Thus, not all mediation is intended to be restorative. 

A restorative approach involves genuine interaction, listening, and dialogue. It places focus on the psychological, social and societal aspects of the conflict.

In restorative mediation, the conflict parties are the central actors for the resolution process. The parties are supported and encouraged to find tools for handling the conflict resolution process with the aid of mediator. The mediator’s role is to act as a confidential and impartial facilitator who adheres to the solution-oriented nature of the process.

Participation in restorative mediation process is always voluntary and based on informed choice.

Restorative justice as part of peace-building efforts, human rights and democratic development

By giving voice and acknowledging an active role of the conflict parties in the conflict resolution process, restorative justice supports the goals of sustainable peace-building, and targets the United Nations Sustainable Development Subgoal 16 (promotion of just, peaceful and inclusive societies).

As restorative approaches encourage active participation and develop tools to participate, they support active, democratic citizenship.

Learning mediation in schools and early childhood education gives the opportunity to rebuild relationships between new generations.

Neighborhood and community mediation and restorative approaches tackle tense, protracted conflict situations and provide tools for peaceful coexistence.

Mediation as part of criminal and dispute resolution strengthens the development of human rights-based rule of law.