In the mid-1980s a number of French associations, supported by a small group of magistrates, decided to try mediation in penal matters, drawing their inspiration from initiatives originating in North America. In response to a judicial process that the associations considered abstract, oriented towards the past, degrading for offenders and indifferent to the needs of victims, the associations put forward a more flexible solution, one more respectful of individuals, more concerned to repair the damage done by crime, one which, instead of cutting across and exacerbating disputes, tries to unravel and assuage them.
"The double life of victim-offender mediation,"
ADR Bulletin: Vol. 7
, Article 4.
Available at: http://epublications.bond.edu.au/adr/vol7/iss10/4