Widening the Use of Mediation in the Domestic Criminal Justice System

Civic Review· VOL 17. Special Issue, 2021, 400–414., DOI: 10.24307/psz.2021.0027

Dr. Leila Melinda Hezam, Legal Officer, Magyar Közlöny Lap-és Könyvkiadó Kft. (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).


In Hungary, criminal mediation is available for crimes against persons, property and traffic offences. The legal requirement is, on the one hand, that the perpetrator ad-mits to the crime and, on the other hand, that the perpetrator compensates for the damage caused, punishable by imprisonment of up to three years, within the framework of the mediation procedure. If the above conjunctive conditions are met, the offender is not punishable. The legal regulation of the mediation procedure in Hungary has undergone changes in the last few years which justify the conclusion that the extension of the mediation procedure is a legitimate legislative objective in Hungary. This is evidenced by the fact that criminal mediation can be used even if the offence in question is not punishable by law with a prison sentence of more than five years. In this case, the sentence may be reduced without limit. However, under the current national legislation, criminal mediation is excluded if the offender is a repeat offender, and it is not available if the offender is serving a custodial sentence with a final court decision. Mediation is therefore still a limited institution, despite the continuous demand for its expansion, and its positive benefits, such as the joint processing of trauma experienced by the victim and the offender, the possibility of reparation, or the promotion of social bonding, are not fully integrated into the re-integration policy of prisons. Instead, prisons use the so-called mainstream reintegration tools, with particular attention to education and forms of employment.

Journal of Economic Literature (JEL) codes: K14, K15, K19, K49
Keywords: mediation, mainstream reintegration, social value, competence development, reintegration strategy, behavior correction