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The Postulates of Restorative Justice and the Continental Model of Criminal Law

As Illustrated by Polish Criminal Law


Teresa Dukiet-Nagorska

The concept of restorative justice, which focuses on extinguishing the social conflict caused by criminal offense, has been received with growing interest on the part of both legislators and specialists in legal sciences throughout the world. This publication answers the question to what extent the classic model of criminal justice (including its fundamental principles and miscellany of penal measures) is able to meet the challenges posed by that concept. The doubts indicated in the study have been illustrated by normative provisions taken from Polish criminal legislation.
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The Mediation Settlement as a Directive of the Level of Sanction


← 72 | 73 → Dominika Bek

When Polish legislators codified criminal law anew in 1997, they built mediation into criminal process and accounted for the impact of its results on the type of conclusion reached in the proceedings. The aim of this chapter is an analysis of the significance of this incorporation, both for the imposition of penalties of different level or other penal measures and for a realisation of the idea of restorative justice. First it must be emphasised that, at present, Polish criminal law provides only for optional influence of the agreement between the offender and the wronged party on the outcome of criminal proceedings. However, as of 1 July 2015, the situation will change because of the amendment of art. 59a CrimC,1 to be discussed further in the text.

Positive effects of mediation carried out between the wronged party and the offender or the settlement reached between the two during the stage of proceedings before the court or prosecutor as general directive on the level of sanction.

The starting point for investigations on the present subject must be art. 53(3) of the Criminal Code of 6 June 1997 (Dziennik Ustaw of 1997, No. 88, item 553), according to which “the court, while meting out punishment, shall take into account positive effects of mediation between the wronged party and the offender or the settlement reached between the two in the proceeding before the court or prosecutor.” This provision is particularly clear for...

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