Restorative Justice and Victim-Offender Mediation mediation

Degree course: 
Academic year when starting the degree: 
Academic year in which the course will be held: 
Course type: 
Supplementary compulsory subjects
Seat of the course: 
Como - Università degli Studi dell'Insubria
First Semester
Standard lectures hours: 
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (50 hours)

No entry requirements

Final Examination: 

Oral examination conducted in the way of an inverted cone: a general question followed by some more specific questions that open up further perspectives of verification.
Will be assessed preeminently the ability to report the contents of the program as appropriate to the specific nature of matter, the ability to connect the various institutes of criminal law, argumentation skills, technical and expressive skills.

Voto Finale

The course aims to promote specific competences about the cooperative and reparative ways of handling conflicts which have penal relevance, according to the principles and methods of restorative justice. It also aims to offer a wider perspective on criminal law and criminal procedure, in order to put them in the proper context of justice, which takes into consideration the victims’ needs.
Students can understand how to use the restorative justice devices – such as victim-offender mediation, restorative dialogue and conferencing – having as a background the national and international legislation.
The course also aims to complete the training of both jurists and linguistic and/or cultural mediators by promoting a harmonious and comprehensive way of approaching the concept of justice, seen in its legal and philosophical background, in which the “individual” plays a pivotal role. Students should gain the awareness of: (a) the importance of building peaceful communities, especially in the context of multicultural and globalized societies; (b) the importance of the use of language.
In particular, the course aims to promote the comprehension of the concept of justice from both the philosophical and linguistic perspectives. From the linguistic perspective, the terminological analysis of “restorative justice” and “mediation” implies a comparison between the Italian and the English lexicon and between the legal language and the common/empathic language.
From the philosophical perspective, students will approach a multi-level teaching – i.e. a way of teaching open to a multidisciplinary approach – that implies a dialogue with different areas of knowledge (such as philosophical anthropology, human rights, criminal law, criminal procedure, criminology and forensic psychology).
At the end of the course, students are required to demonstrate their ability to argue about: restorative justice and victim-offender mediation, restorative dialogue and victims empathy groups (in a theoretical and practical perspective); the role of victims in the European conventions; the protection of victims’ rights.

Because of the need for a multi-level teaching as highlighted above, and to allow a full and proper understanding of restorative justice, the course is structured in two modules:
I. A philosophical one, dealing with:
(a) origins, meaning and principles of restorative justice;
(b) lexicon and pivotal concepts of restorative justice;
(c) the analysis of the operational devices of restorative justice (mainly restorative dialogue, victim-offender mediation, family group conferencing, victim empathy groups, victim impact statements);
The focus on the legal language, the restorative justice language and the communicative value of the law has a pivotal role in this course.

II. A linguistic-juridical module, dealing with:
a) the concept of multiculturalism;
b) types of conflicts (inter-personal, inter-ethnical, inter-religious and so on);
c) technics of conflict resolution;
d) directives and soft-laws documents concerning restorative justice and penal mediation;
e) the relationship between restorative justice and criminal justice system;
f) new challenges of restorative justice .

In the course will be also analysed methods, techniques and styles of victim-offender mediation, having the support of professional mediators.


The course takes place in the first semester, through 50 hours of lessons (8 CFU).
The valuable materials proposed by Nations (UNODC) on the subject of restorative justice within the Education for Justice project will be widely used in teaching.
Attendance is highly recommended for the type of course and methodology used.

The reception is fixed immediately after the lesson or by appointment by email.