Victim-offender mediation and observance of procedural rights in the Macedonian juvenile justice system : competitive or balancing?Stojanka Mirčeva
, Vesna Stefanovska
, Bogdancho Gogov
, 2015, original scientific article
The paper examines the observance of procedural rights of the parties referred to Victim-Offender Mediation (VOM) in the Justice System for Children (JSC), and particularly pioneering practice associated with challenges pertaining to the multicultural character of the community.
Analysis is based on qualitative data collected by using in-depth interviews and document analysis. Sources of data were relevant stakeholders in the referral procedure, the Child and the Victim, as well as court/prosecutors files. In-depth interviews were carried out with 17 stakeholders to capture professional attitudes, attached meanings and experience of the respondents in relation to VOM. Document analysis as a data collection technique was applied to two prosecutor’s files and one court file which, at present, are the only cases of VOM in JSC.
The main findings pertain to the indispensable recognition that meanings attributed to VOM in JSC, as well as expectations, vary extensively among respondents. In turn, this situation shapes the procedural rights of the parties in 3 VOM cases. In addition, basic principles of VOM are implemented in line with the perceived significance of procedural rights in VOM cases.
Research Limitations / Implications:
The findings relate only to respondents’ attitudes and views on VOM as well as data contained in court/prosecutor’s files. In-depth knowledge on the implementation of procedural rights during VOM process is missing due to the impossibility for participatory observation of the joint meetings.
While across Europe much research on balancing VOM principles and fair trial standards has been conducted, no research at all has been carried out in Macedonia in relation to VOM in JSC. This small scale survey is particularly valuable in filling up the existing empirical gap, and findings might be used as a basis for developing system prerequisites for VOM.
Keywords: victim-offender mediation, child offenders, victims, Macedonian Justice System for Children
Published in DKUM: 16.04.2020; Views: 562; Downloads: 33
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