The Catalan and Spanish judicial system protects sufficiently the victim of a crime? In general, the response focuses on punishing the offender without taking into account the needs of the victims, who become witnesses to the judicial process.
The victim’s participation in the judicial process opens the door to consider that reparation for damage does not occur only in the context of criminal proceedings, but must bear in mind the consequences on the victim and on the community. around .
The desire to further humanize the judicial system and to take into account the victim has had a first response in criminal mediation. This tool helps to find consensus scenarios to reach an agreement, but does not always keep in mind that the victim may need, for example, to establish a dialogue with the aggressor to facilitate understanding, or to know if the offender has the will to take responsibility for the crime, among others.
To respond to these needs, a new complementary current appears to the traditional justice system, restorative justice. This alternative provides the parties involved, and the nearby community, with the opportunity to participate directly in conflict resolution and address its consequences with the help of a facilitator.
This trend has been introduced for the first time in Directive 2012/29 / EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012, which establishes minimum standards on the rights, protection and protection of victims of crimes, and replacing Council Framework Decision 2001/220 / JHA.
The transposition of this directive must be done before November 16, 2015. The Spanish state is carrying out work to integrate it into the state legal system within the framework of the bill on the legal status of the victim of crime.
In the environmental field, the repair of the damage caused to the environment has a constitutional basis (art. 45) that should offer a maximum of guarantees to protect the general interest which is the protection of the environment.
Beyond the elements that are taken into account for the classification of the crime, the damage to environmental property also affects society as a whole. It is in this context that restorative justice can help give a voice to the community affected by this damage, help the perpetrator of the damage to become aware of the consequences of their actions, and to participate in the restoration of the damage caused.
It is in our interest to develop the tools of restorative justice as a preventive tool to address conflicts in the territory, and to intervene at a time when it is considered that there is a risk of causing harm and not when it has already been consumed.