Victim‐Offender Mediation with Youth Offenders in Indonesia

Published date01 July 2015
AuthorDale Margaret Bagshaw,Fatahillah Abdul Syukur
DOIhttp://doi.org/10.1002/crq.21120
Date01 July 2015
C R Q, vol. 32, no. 4, Summer 2015 389
© 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. and the Association for Conf‌l ict Resolution
Published online in Wiley Online Library (wileyonlinelibrary.com) • DOI: 10.1002/crq.21120
Victim-O ender Mediation with Youth
O enders in Indonesia
Fatahillah Abdul Syukur
Dale Margaret Bagshaw
is article critically analyzes the practice of victim-of‌f ender media-
tion in district courts in Indonesia, an approach that incorporates the
values of indigenous cultures and is compatible with Islamic teachings.
e authors highlight the principles of child protection in Indonesia,
examine the changing paradigm of legal professionals from retributive
to restorative justice, elaborate on legal reforms in handling juvenile
of‌f enders, and identify constraints that hamper the implementation of
victim-of‌f ender mediation. A case study illustrates the current practice
of victim-of‌f ender mediation in the Indonesian courts.
This article analyzes the practice of victim-of‌f ender mediation in deal-
ing with juvenile of‌f enders in Indonesian district courts. It begins by
reviewing the literature on restorative justice approaches in relation to cur-
rent practice in Indonesia, highlighting the principles of child protection
in Indonesia and contemporary practice dealing with these issues in courts.
e changing paradigm of legal professionals in Indonesia from retributive
to restorative justice is also discussed. We then elaborate on legal reforms in
handling juvenile of‌f enders as well as identifying constraints that hamper
the implementation of victim-of‌f ender mediation. We of‌f er an analysis of
victim-of‌f ender mediation practice that has been conducted in some dis-
trict courts in Indonesia, including the role of the mediator, the roles of
victims and of‌f enders in the process, mediation stages, the administration
of victim-of‌f ender mediation, and the forms of settlement resulting from
the process. Finally, we analyze a case study to illustrate the practice of
victim-of‌f ender mediation with juvenile of‌f enders in Indonesia.
390 ABDUL SYUKUR, BAGSHAW
C R Q • DOI: 10.1002/crq
Literature Review
One of the alternative approaches, increasingly used by legal systems, is
victim-of‌f ender mediation, which is more commonly known in Indone-
sia as penal mediation. Victim-of‌f ender mediation is a restorative justice
approach that is internationally popular in handling youth of‌f enders.
is approach of‌f ers a comprehensive and ef‌f ective solution to dealing with
youth of‌f enders (Bazemore and Schif‌f 2005). Restorative justice “aims to
empower victims, communities, of‌f enders and families to repair the ef‌f ects
of a harmful event, using ef‌f ective ‘repentance rituals’” (Pavlich 2002, 1).
Consedine (1995) described the values and goal of restorative justice in
this way:
Crime is no longer def‌i ned as an attack on the state but rather an
of‌f ence by one person against another. It is based on recognition of the
humanity of both of‌f ender and victim.  e goal of the restorative pro-
cess is to heal the wounds of every person af‌f ected by the of‌f ence,
including the victim and the of‌f ender. Options are explored that focus
on repairing the damage. (158)
John Braithwaite (2002), an expert on restorative approaches, has pro-
vided a critical analysis of restorative justice when it is incorporated into
of‌f‌i cial settings. He stated that restorative methods need to be applied with
substantial authority.  e approach, he said, is “anathema to the bottom-
up democratic (civic republican) ethos of the social movement” (563).
However, Braithwaite also asserts that restorative justice involves people
struggling to seek justice according to their own values. Restorative justice
as a formal and top-down method can be implemented locally by adjusting
it to indigenous standards.
e spirit of restorative justice closely parallels the values of indigenous
cultures in Indonesia. Many tribes that still have strong traditions, such
as those in Bali, Papua, Tana Toraja in South Sulawesi, and Minangka-
bau in West Sumatra, settle criminal of‌f enses with “amicable settlements”
(Abdul Syukur 2009).  ose who prefer to use state legal systems are per-
ceived as being more warlike and therefore may be sanctioned in tradi-
tional local societies ( Lembaga Penelitian Pendidikan Dan Penerangan
Ekonomi Dan Sosial 2005).  e amicable method of resolving disputes is
based on musyawarah mufakat, the traditional way of resolving disputes in
Indonesia, where parties are asked to compromise their interests in order

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