For most of recorded history, crime has called for restitution rather than retribution. In the ancient world and in pre-modern Europe, those who had wronged someone could seek refuge in a sanctuary from which they could safely propose a settlement. Starting in the 16th century in modern Europe, this right gradually disappeared. Today, criminal justice consists of prosecution and punishment by the state. Dutch jurist Herman Bianchi believes we should return to a settlement-based system of criminal law (Originally published in Dutch as "Gerechtigheid als vrijplaats").
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.