Mediation in criminal and civil cases
Mediation gives opportunity:
- to discuss what has happened
- to be heard
- to deal with what has happened and the emotions involved
- to take responsibility for any damage one has incurred
- to agree on compensation for possible damages
- to alleviate harm caused by a crime or a civil case
- to get over what has happened
- to speed up the criminal or civil proceeding
- to have an impact on further proceedings
Mediation is an opportunity – bringing about conciliation
Mediation in criminal and civil cases is available throughout Finland
- It is voluntary and free-of-charge
- It is impartial and confidential
- It is based on the Mediation Act (1015/2005)
In mediation, the parties involved meet face-to-face to discuss the harm caused by a crime or a civil case.
The goal is to help the parties to find mutually satisfying solutions and means to compensate for any harm caused by the events.
Usually mediation cases involve violent offences, property offences or different kinds of civil cases.
Mediation can be attended by a guardian, a legal representative and an interpreter.
It is possible to have an assistant or a support person present during mediation.
Mediation is subject to consent from all parties involved. Consent is required even from minors and their guardians or, if necessary, their legal representative.
Mediators are trained volunteers that work under the guidance and supervision of professionals at the mediation office.
Mediation can be requested
- By a party involved in a criminal or civil case
- By a guardian or a legal representative
- By the police or other authority
A mediation requests submitted to a mediation office.
In domestic violence cases, only the police or prosecutor can initiate mediation.
The professionals at the mediation office assess whether the case is suitable for mediation and give advice on all details.
Contact details for all mediation offices in Finland are available online at www.thl.fi/mediation.
Mediation step by step
The mediation office gets in touch with the parties involved and informs them of:
- Mediation and its significance
- The status of different parties in the mediation
- Support services during and after mediation
If mediation is initiated, the mediators arrange meetings with the parties involved.
The parties are active in the discussions. Events are discussed constructively and enabling the parties to listen to each other.
If conciliation is reached, the parties sign an agreement which is authenticated by the mediators.
The parties can call off the mediation process at any stage. Even the mediation office can decide to discontinue the process, where necessary.
Damage and harm caused by the events can be redressed with the means settled by the parties.
The mediation office follows up compliance with the agreement and, where necessary, gives the parties advice on how to pay or receive the agreed compensations.
A successful mediation process can result in suspended legal proceedings, or the mediation results can be taken into account when determining the potential punishment.