Security Research

Restorative Justice in Cases of Domestic Violence
Best practice examples between increasing mutual understanding and awareness of specific protection needs

Project Management:  Dr. Birgitt Haller
Implementation:  Dr. Birgitt Haller
 Dr. Veronika Hofinger (IRKS)
Funded by:  European Commission/ DG Criminal Justice via
    Verwey-Jonker Instituut, Utrecht (NL)
 Austrian Federal Ministry of Education and Women’s Affairs
Partners:  European Public Law Organization EPLO (GR)
 Independent Academic Research Studies IARS (UK)
 LOKK – National Organisation of Women’s Shelters (DK)
 Ministry of Justice Finland
 European Forum for Restorative Justice EFRJ (BE)
Completed:  January 2016

The project assessed Restorative Justice (RJ) practices in the context of domestic violence in the participating countries, aiming to identify conditions under which RJ is both possible and useful. In all countries including Austria, the project focused on victim-offender mediation, in some additionally on conferencing. Its methodological approach included literature research, interviews with victims, offenders, practitioners and experts as well as focus groups with representatives of public prosecution offices, police, probation service and RJ practitioners.

One result of the project is a "practitioners’ guide" for RJ in cases of intimate partner violence (in English), which was presented in January 2016 at the final conference in Brussels. The guide is not country-specific and offers basic general information for practitioners across the EU. In addition, the Austrian team wrote a national guide for public prosecutors and judges to support them when referring cases to victim-offender mediation.