This contribution tries to assess in a critical way the practical implementation of restorative justice for juveniles. Especially the aim of restitution and the statement of respect for due process within Restorative Justice literature are investigated by means of an analysis of a Restorative Justice experiment in Belgian Juvenile Justice practice. Because Restorative Justice is said not to punish minors, it seems that legal rights are not always organised. However, stating that no more minor will be punished and that due process will be respected does not mean that in practice no more minor will be punished and that due process will actually be respected. It therefore looks advisable to develop clear legal rules/guidelines concerning the organisation of judicial mediation procedures. Moreover the legal rights of minors (and of victims) within the mediation procedure should also be clarified. After all, history (and more particularly the treatment model) has shown that vagueness in procedures and a lack of legal rights easily lead to arbitrariness and punishment in the juvenile justice system.
Source: Vanspauwen, K., Robert, L., Aertsen, I., Parmentier, S. (2003), Restorative Justice and Restorative Detention. A selected and annotated bibliography. Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Faculteit Rechtsgeleerdheid, Onderzoeksgroep Penologie en Victimologie.