The National Mediation Service (NMS) / Konfliktrådene, is a public service that provides restorative processes in penal and civil cases.
The service is open to all residents in Norway and is free of charge.
NMS service is regulated by law – you can read the law (konfliktrådsloven) here.
Initiatives to restorative processes comes from different sources in society, such as public bodies, local communities, and the parties themselves. In penal cases, a restorative process can be introduced at different stages in the criminal justice procedures. The Prosecuting authority may refer cases to NMS, provided that both victim and offender give their consent to take part in a restorative process.
The Ministry of Justice and Public Security, Department for Crime Prevention has the overall responsibility for the functioning of NMS.
NMS has two administrative levels, one central administration that functions as a Directorate, and 12 regional offices (with 22 locations).
There are in total 130 NMS employees, and about 550 local mediators appointed for 4-year periods. The mediators are recruited through a process of public announcement, interviews and basic training before deemed suited for this task, The mediators are supervised by the local NMS office and will receive continued training, guidance e.g. through local mediator gatherings and seminars.
NMS dates back to a first pilot in 1981. The service is regulated by law since 15th March 1991. The service was built up nationwide between 1992- 1994. A characteristic of NMS is recruitment of local community members due to their personal ability to fulfill the role as mediators. The initial inspiration was ideas put forward by prof Nils Christie (1977) Conflicts as property. The British Journal of Criminology, 17(1), 1–15.