Mediation in Juvenile Criminal Offenses - Albanian Case
Keywords:Juvenile Criminal Code, restorative justice, mediation, juvenile offender, prosecution avoidance
AbstractIn the treatment of juvenile ofenders in modern systems, priority is being given to procedures aimed at reconciliation and mediation, damage repair and the implementation of alternative measures to restrict freedom. The entirety of such proceedings fall within the concept of restorative justice. Restorative justice is of particular importance in the treatment of juveniles by the criminal justice system, as its main purpose is not to punish the perpetrator but to find methods that promote reintegration into society. One of the mechanisms that underpins restorative justice for juveniles that guarantees the success of education and reintegration in society is mediation in criminal conflicts. The mediation aims to engage the perpetrator in repairing the damage caused by the criminal offense as well as to restore reconciliation relations between the victim and the perpetrator. In this way, mediation procedures are of particular importance in the context of criminal law as they promote the values of dialogue and reconciliation in the way of conflict resolution and provide alternative solutions to criminal sanctions. In criminal cases involving juvenile offenders, the application of mediation procedures brings a number of positive aspects as it serves the immediate rehabilitation and reintegration of the juvenile offender as the primary aim of juvenile justice. Implementation of the mediation alternative leads to a better understanding of legislation in this area as well as an increased awareness of enabling application as one of the forms of intervention against juvenile delinquency. Restorative justice is already part of the juvenile criminal legislation following the entry into force of the Juvenile Criminal Code, which brings a new perspective to the implementation of restorative procedures in accordance with the principle of protecting the best interest of the minor. The paper focuses on the role and importance of mediation procedures and their sanctioning in Albanian legislation. The paper will analyze albanian mediation legislation as a positive achievement in the context of promoting the process of restorative justice in juvenile matters. Conclusions will be drawn and recommendations will be identified regarding deficiencies in legal regulations as well as the practical implementation of mediation procedures for juveniles.
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