The Mediation Service in NorwayIren Sørfjordmo, Head of Office, Mediation Service Sør-TrøndelagTallinn, Estonia, October 2012
Presentation content Introduction History Goals Organisation Mediation practice Methods Experiences Examples Statistics Projects
The start The mediation and reconciliation service in Norway is a product of the debates of the 1970s and 1980s concerning criminal policy, but also the child welfare service. Professor Nils Christie - Conflicts as Property, 1976 - Professionals, mainly legal experts steeling the conflicts from their rightful owners, i.e. the people - The vicitims’ and the offenders’ rights to their own conflicts should be restored - Conflicts represent a potential for activity, learning and participation
History White paper on criminal policy in 1977 – how to prevent young offenders from beeing imprisoned Director of Public Prosecutions asks the question whether the traditional criminal legislation is adapted to young offenders Project in Buskerud ”Alternative to imprisonment of young offenders” 1988: Director of Public Prosecutions suggests that mediation should be regulated by law Act on mediation 15. mars 1991 1th of January 2004 – Mediation Service is organised as part of the state, placed under the Ministry of Police and Justice
The Mediation Services as part of theJustice System Ministry of Justice and the Police Department of Civil Affairs National Mediation Service (directorate/central administration)
The task according to the Act (1991) The Mediation Service shall mediate in disputes which arise as a result of one or more persons causing loss or damage or other offences against a third party. Opens for both criminal cases and civil cases All kinds of civil cases
It is laid down in the Act and theRegulations that The central government is responsible for and covers the expenses of the (National) Mediation Service offices The Mediation Service is organized into three levels; - the Mediation Service offices at the local level - the National Mediation Service at the central level - the Ministry of Justice as the superior responsible body
Objectives Give the parties themselves an opportunity to take part in resolving the issue Find solutions and agreements between the parties Offer a fast reaction to crime and conflicts Prevent re-offending Giving both the victim and the offender a role
Why mediation? Conflicts is a part of human society and mediation is a good way to handle it A negative conflict can be turned into a positive social force (Christie) Reducing the use of punitive efforts in criminal cases Positive effects for victims Building civil structures in society in coping with conflicts and crime For politics and bureaucrats: Reducing the caseload for the court system Reducing costs
Professional responsibility Training of mediators Careful selection of suitable mediators Training programmes with certified trainers Continuous evaluation and discussion in the service Training for new methods Conferencing Training for trainers Other types of courses Coaching Conflict management Peer mediation
How can cases be referred to theMediation Service? Alternative to other criminal prosecution Supplement to other sanctions Part of a sentence with community service Condition in a suspended sentence Civil case as a supplement to a criminal case Civil case
Phases in mediation1 Introduction2 What happened? Past What were you thinking? What were you feeling?3 What do you think now? Who has been affected? Presence4 Do you have any suggestions for a solution? What do you need to do now? Future5 Agreement
The lay mediators Public duty, appointed for 4 years Minimum age 18 years Based in the community Knowledge of local society Have some idealistic reasons for being a mediator Personal suitable to be a mediator is the most important Key words: facilitator of process, impartiality, open-minded, empathy No demands for academic or other formal competence The group of mediators should reflect the society Age, Education, Experience, Religion, Ethnic origin Training and guidance from administration
A mediatior Mohammed Jawari, former mediator and now speaker in Parlament back in his homeland Somalia
Cases and results 2011 8271 cases About 50% criminal cases and 50% civil cases 80% of cases from police and prosecution authority Agreements in abt. 89% of cases Abt 96 % of the agreements are fulfilled 42 % of the offenders are under the age of 18
Types of cases - 2011 Type of cases Other offences Other conflicts 337 Shoplifting 601 4% 928 7% 11% Other petty thef 274 Family conflicts 3% 431 Aggravated theft 5% 283 3% Neighbourhood conflicts Vehicle theft 60 77 1% s 1% Serial offence 60 Vandalism 1% 1045 13% Economic offences 695 Burglery 8% 106 1% Threats/bullying 1081 13% Violence 1795 23%
Restorative Justice Definition Restorative Justice is a process whereby parties eith a stake in a specific offence resolve collectively how to deal with the aftermath of the offence and its implications for the future. (Tony Marshall ”Restorative Justice: an overview” 1999) Restorative justice is the umbrella covering a range of methods and tools. Restorative justice is not a method itself but more a way of thinking which looks at the crime more as a conflict than a breach of law.
Two different views(H. Zehr ”Restorative Justice”)Criminal justice Restorative JusticeCrime is a violation of the law and the Crime is a violation of people andstate relationsshipsViolations create guilt Violations create obligationsJustice requires the state to determine Justice involves victims, offenders andblame (guilt) and impose pain community members in an effort to put(punishment) things rightCentral focus: Central focus:Offenders getting what they deserve Victim needs and offenders responsibility for repairing harm
Three different questions (H. Zehr ”Restorative Justice”)Criminal justice Restorative JusticeWhat laws have been broken? Who has been hurt?Who did it? What are their needs?What do they deserve? Whose obligations are these?
Mediation and conferencingMediation Two or more parties (with support person, parents)Conferencing Script based on specific questions in a specific order Affected parties involved Network involved
Key elements in Restorative Justice Three pillars of restorative justice Harms and needs Obligations Engagement
Key questions in Restorative Justice1. What happened?2. What were you thinking?3. What were you feeling?4. Who has been affected?5. What do you need to do now?
Who might the participants be? Persons that are related to the parties and affected by the incident (direct or indirect) Persons in local communities that may support the parties. Persons that the parties want to be presence in the conference. Possible participants familiy, neighbours, colleges, football trainers … police, child care, health workers, teachers …
RJ implies that: Perspectives to both offender and victim are considered All parties are responsible in resolving the case Affected parties are included Network is included
Mediation versus conferencing Common Both methods give an opportunity for dialogue between parties with an impartial facilitator present. Both methods gives the offender and the victim an opportunity to handle a conflict or a criminal act. There is no difference between mediation and conferencing regarding types of cases Conferencing allows in addition: A possibility to include persons that are important in resolving the case Show consequenses of actions Strenghten the network around the parties The script ensures that the hole group is included in the process The parties decide whether mediation or conferencing is the most appropriate method in a case.
Benefits with Restorative Justice Volunteer for all parties Handling conflicts at a low level Both the offender and the victim has a role Predictability Increased understanding of consequences of actions Increased safety for the victim Restoring relations Ownership to the solution and agreement EMPOWERMENT Accountability of networks and communities Economically efficient Crime prevention
Separate projects Juvenile Conferencing Juvenile Sanction Tolerance and Conflict solution in a multicultural society International training Peer mediation Domestic violence
Juvenile Conferencing and follow-up Conferencing applied systematically for juveniles, including follow-up (contract) Started in Sør-Trøndelag as a pilot project in 2006 Gain; All experts are meeting at the same time with the young one. Representatives from central institutions like police, child care service, school, youth field-workers –and family/private network. Creates a comprehensive plan; clear agreements on job- shearing between the professionals towards the juvenile, and the juvenile has a say in the planning, and must actively take responsibility. The police has realised that paying attention to the victim is also a positive asset in the rehabilitation work with the offender.
Juvenile Conferencing En unik plattform for tverrfaglig samarbeid A unique platform for Interdiciplinary cooperation
Juvenile Conferencing 4 local projects 2005 – 2007 The follow-up-teams hit the target group A high-risk group of young people who has a history of non-profitting on intervention/helping-meassures Recedive – results are good More than 55 % have no breaches of law or individually tailored conditions after being taken into a follow-up team
International trainingRussian mediators – Arkhangelsk 2011