Restorative Justice

at post-sentencing level supporting and protecting victims

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An introduction to VOM in Austria, new developments and reflections for further discussion

By Christa Pelikan

I will first present a few case stories as they have been collected in the course of the trip-partite pilot running presently in Austria. They rest on the documentation prepared by the facilitators and on a collection of the facilitators’ ‘emotional assessment’ of these cases.

I will then move on to outline the history of VOM in Austria and that of the new pilot project. That will serve as a departure point to analyse why restorative justice practices at the post-sentence level and conferencing have arrived so late to Austria, a pioneering country in VOM.

Following from that, I will share some reflections about old apprehensions – new concerns: Are we losing sight of the victim? Are we facing a new punitiveness?

Dr Christa Pelikan is a researcher at the Institute for the Sociology of Law and Criminology in Vienna. She has been working in the field of criminal law, especially on victim-offender mediation and in the field of family law. She has been chairing the ‘Committee of experts on mediation in penal matters’ within the European Committee on Crime Problems (CDPC) and has been a member of the Criminological Scientific Council to the CDPC of the Council of Europe. She is also a founding member of the European Forum for Restorative Justice and has participated in various GROTIUS, AGIS, and COST projects at EU level.


With the financial support from the Criminal Justice Programme of the European Union. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibilty of "Schleswig-Holsteinischer Verband für soziale Strafrechtpflege; Straffälligen- und Opferhilfe e.V" and can in no way be taken to refect the views of the European Commission.