What is mediation?

The mediation of criminal cases is a free service, where the parties of a crime can deal with the psychological and material harm caused by the crime to the victim, and deal with their compensation through an impartial mediator. Mediation is always voluntary and both parties have the right to cancel their consent at any time.

Cases are referred to mediation most often by the police or the prosecutor. The parties may also take the initiative to have the case settled by mediation, by contacting the local mediation operations. Only an authority may make the initiative of the mediation of domestic violence. Cases to be mediated are most often assaults, damages, property crimes and smaller disputes.

In mediation, the parties of the crime meet and if an agreement is reached through mediation, this can lead to a non-prosecution decision in case of some less serious crimes. In this case, the processing of the case ends and it will not go to court. Mediation may also lead to not being sentenced to punishment or a more lenient punishment. If agreement cannot be reached, the prosecutor can prosecute and take the case to court as normal. The prosecutor may prosecute the person suspected of the crime, even if agreement had been reached. Compensation for damages can be agreed on in mediation as well.

More information on mediation from the perspective of the victim of crime can be obtained at all RIKU offices. Before participating in mediation, the victim of crime should find out what compensation and other rights he/she could have outside mediation, so that he/she can compare this to what he/she may commit to in mediation. More information on mediation can be found on the National Institute for Health and Welfare website.