Why draw up a code of ethics?


The Institute has adopted a code of ethics in order to have guidelines when fulfilling its missions.

The implementation of measures of restorative justice with due respect to the dignity and humanity of the participants can only be possible if the fundamental tenets of restorative justice and criminal law are abided by.In view of its missions, the IFJR was duty bound to build the code of ethics of this new sector of penal and social intervention which was nascent.

Drawn up in July 2014, this code tallies with the support mission that the IFJR offers both to the professionals and the services of restorative justice. Their compliance with the present code guarantees their users and partners that they perform their duties within an ethical framework which meets fundamental human rights as well as the principles of criminal law with due respect to the recipients of the programmes of restorative justice.


Elaboration of the code of ethics


Adopted by the IFJR in July 2014, the “Code of ethics for the implementation of restorative justice in criminal matters” was elaborated prior to the enactment of the law of, August 15th, 2014.  It adumbrated all the ethical and methodological principles defined by article 10-1 of Code of criminal procedure:

“Upon any criminal procedure and at any stage of this procedure, including during the execution of the sentence, the victim and the offender can have access to a restorative justice measure provided the facts have been acknowledged.

A measure of restorative justice is any measure allowing the victim and the offender to be actively involved in the resolution of the conflict resulting from the offence and more particularly repairing any kind of subsequent harm. This measure can only become effective once the victim and the offender have been fully informed about it and have expressly agreed to be involved.  It is implemented by an independent third party, trained for that purpose and under the supervision of the judicial authority or at its request or at the request of the prison authorities.  It is confidential, unless otherwise agreed by the parties involved, except when a higher interest related to the necessary prevention or repression of offences requires that information on the procedure of the measure should be brought to the attention of the Procureur de la République (The Director of Public Prosecution (UK) or District Attorney (US))”


The IFJR’s Code of Ethics was drawn up on the basis of all the international documents regulating the practice of restorative justice:

  • Resolution (E/2002/30) of the Social and Economic Council of the United Nations relating to the fundamental principles on the recourse to restorative justice programmes in penal matters, borne out by the declaration of the eleventh United Nations Congress in Bangkok (25, April 2005)
  • The 2nd Resolution (MJU-26 2005) of the 26th Conference of the European Ministers of Justice of the member states of the Council of Europe relating to the social mission of the penal justice- restorative justice system (Helsinki April 7th-8th, 2005).
  • Directive (2012/29/UE) of the European Parliament and of the Council, 25th, October 2012, setting up minimal standards for the rights, the support and the protection of the victims of criminal offences, which replaced the framework decision 2001/220/JAI of the Council.
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Benjamin Sayous

Benjamin Sayous has blogged 450 posts

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