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Criminal mediation

Verified 25 août 2020 - Directorate of Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister), Ministry of Justice

Criminal mediation is an amicable solution to a dispute related to a offense low gravity. It aims to bring the perpetrator and the victim to determine compensation for the harm. The author undertakes to repair. It's the public prosecutor or the judicial police officers whom he appoints, who may propose mediation. The victim must give his consent. In case of disagreement or if the agreement is not executed, the prosecutor may resume the proceedings by initiating a trial.

Criminal mediation alternative to prosecution in criminal litigation. It requires that the parties agree to participate in a negotiation. It is possible in a dialog and in a peaceful context. It makes it possible to make reparation for damage suffered by a victim or to resolve a dispute by making the perpetrator responsible. It consists of an amicable agreement between the parties. It avoids a trial. It simplifies the victim's procedures and prevents the offender from having a negative effect on his or her surroundings. It is an intermediate measure between the trial and no further classification..

The public prosecutor who receives a complaint may arrange for a criminal mediation mission to be carried out if this measure can enable:

  • reparation for the victim's damage,
  • and to end the disturbance caused by the offense,
  • or to contribute to the social reintegration of the perpetrator.

For mediation to take place, the perpetrator and the victim must be identified and the facts must be simple, clearly established, not serious and recognized by the perpetrator.

Mediation can be aimed at both adults and minors.

It may concern tickets and some offense, except for attacks on physical integrity such as sexual assault.

It may not be possible if the perpetrator has already been convicted or if there is a risk of a repetition of the facts, for example if the perpetrator is vindictive.

Thus, criminal mediation may take place in the following cases:

  • Injures, threats, night noise, neighborhood disturbances
  • Light violence, simple theft, concealing objects
  • Degradation of property
  • Non-payment of maintenance and non-presentation of children.

  FYI : in the event of domestic violence, mediation is not possible.

Initiative

Criminal mediation is organized by the public prosecutor or judicial police officers , with the consent of the victim. The designation shall be in writing.

It shall be implemented by criminal ombudsmanappointed by the Prosecutor.

It takes place in a court, on the premises of an association, a house of justice and law or a branch of justice.

Individual interviews

The criminal mediator summons each party (perpetrator and victim of the offense) to an individual interview. During the interview, the mediator recalls the law, explains it to the author of the facts, confronts the parties and tries to reconcile them.

Parties may not respond to summonses or may refuse the attempt to mediate. The case is then referred to the Public Prosecutor. The prosecutor may then decide to refer the matter to the court or file case by terminating the proceedings.

If they meet the summons, the parties try, with the help of the criminal ombudsman, to reach an amicable solution (payment of damages, apologies, refurbishing an object for example).

If the accused is a minor, the parents must participate in the interview.

The parties may be assisted by a lawyer if they so wish.

Who shall I contact

  FYI : resource-dependent legal aid allows you to pay all or part of a lawyer's fees. It may be granted to both the victim and the accused.

If agreed

If the mediation succeeds, a report is drawn up by the public prosecutor or the mediator and is signed by all. It shall indicate the agreement and the obligations of the parties. If the party involved is a minor, the parents must sign the agreement.

The mediator shall verify that the agreement is implemented. He sends a report on the end of the mediation to the public prosecutor.

Once the agreement is signed, the prosecutor closes the case.

  FYI : criminal mediation is not listed on the criminal record of the perpetrator.

If the agreement is not respected

If the agreement is not respected, the victim may request his enforced execution, i.e. it can obtain a judgment requiring the implementation of the agreement.

If a judge is seised, the statements of the parties and the findings of the mediator may be brought before the court only if all the parties agree.

In the event of non-performance of the agreement, the public prosecutor may refer the matter to a court or decide to criminal composition..

It can also initiate legal proceedings while criminal mediation is still ongoing.

  Please note : the mediation procedure shall interrupt the period during which the perpetrator may be prosecuted.

In case of disagreement or lack of agreement

If the parties agree on the principle of mediation but no agreement can be reached, or if no agreement is reached, the mediator shall inform the public prosecutor.

The prosecutor may then decide to prosecute or dismiss the case..

  Please note : the mediation procedure shall interrupt the period during which the perpetrator may be prosecuted.