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Victim Participation In Criminal Justice

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... In any analysis of the criminal justice system (CJS) of England and Wales (but also of almost all other common-law Western systems), 1 it has been a commonplace to remark on what some have described as 'the rediscovery' [1] (pp. [5][6][7][8][9][10], the 'rebirth' [2] (pp. 69-94), [3] (pp. [7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19], or the 'reemergence' of the victim [4] (pp. [26][27][28] over the past 50 years, in contrast to their marginalised role as a third party to the criminal trial [5,6]. In truth, while their historical relationship with the CJS might have been more pronounced, victims had never gone away. ...
... [9][10] and was designed to lead to what the government characterised as a 'rebalancing' of criminal justice policy in favour of the victim's interests [10]. No longer marginalised, 'the rising visibility of the victim' in the 1960s and 1970s' [11] (p. 24) [12] recast that relationship in a number of ways, intended to 'make sure that the victim's voice is heard at the heart of Government' [13] (p. 8). This is a claim that for many critics remains unfulfilled, but which in practice presents a number of challenges to an even-handed criminal justice system [14,15]. ...
... 11 On victim personal statements (alternatively called victim impact statements [28], see Victims' https://s3-eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/victimscomm-prod-storage-clhgxgum05k1/uploads/2016/11/VC-review-into-restorative-justice-services-part-2_November-2016.pdf. 12 Some of these increases are attributable to better recording; otherwise, there has been 'no change in overall violent offences estimated by the CSEW (1,389,000). Office for National Statistics, https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/crimeandjustice/bulletins/crimeinenglandandwa ...
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This article examines one element of the state’s responses to crime: the provision of a taxpayer-funded compensation scheme for victims of personal and sexual violence. The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012 sits within a political context that seeks to ensure that victims of crime are better served by the criminal justice system of England and Wales, the jurisdiction that is the focus of this article. The government’s fundamental policy is that this scheme exists to compensate only those victims who are ‘blameless’, either in terms of their character, criminal record, conduct at the time of the incident, or in their engagement with the criminal justice agencies. It is a policy that illuminates elements of two of the questions that the editors posed for this Special Issue of Societies. Reviewing the increased urgency in government policies concerning the treatment of victims of crime, the first section addresses the question of how, why and when victims came to shape political and criminal justice discourse and practice. The question of how, and to what end, cultural representations have shaped perceptions of victims is addressed in the second and third sections, which examine the notion of victim status and illustrate the ways in which eligible (‘ideal’) victims are perceived and their claims under this scheme are determined.
... Ţrtve lahko sproţijo kazenski postopek po zasebni obtoţbi, če ţelijo. Teoretično sta policija in ţrtev v enakem pravnem poloţaju, s to razliko, da ima policija veliko več preiskovalnih moţnosti kot ţrtev (Sanders 2002). V primerih, ki jih prejme Drţavno toţilstvo (Crown Prosecution Service) v Angliji, morajo opraviti test in se nato odločiti, ali bodo vloţili obtoţbo ali ne. ...
... Po drugi strani pa večja informiranost ţrtve o poteku in izidu kazenskega postopka zmanjšuje občutek sekundarne viktimizacije, hkrati pa ne vpliva na zmanjševanje obdolţenčevih pravic ali na poslabšanje njegovega poloţaja. Kolikor kazenski model, ki temelji na restorativni pravičnosti, omogoča sodelovanje ţrtve pri nekaznovalni rešitvi zadeve, se tako sekundarna viktimizacija kot povračilnost omejita, s tem pa se poveča svoboda tako ţrtve kot storilca (Sanders 2002). Pasivna udeleţba ţrtve v obliki obveščanja o poteku in odločitvah v kazenskem postopku sporoča ţrtvi, da je pravosodje ni pozabilo, izraţa spoštovanje in priznavanje njenega poloţaja ter njenega interesa v določenem sodnem postopku. ...
... Sekundarno viktimizacijo lahko povzroča tudi breme odločanja o teku postopka, ki se naloţi ţrtvi. Za mnoge ţrtve je ţaljivo, če se jih vpraša za mnenje in ţelje, nato pa se leteh ne upošteva pri odločanju (Sanders 2002). Sekundarne viktimizacije, ki jo doţivlja ţrtev zaradi kazenskega postopka, ne "povzročajo" le organi pregona in sodišče, temveč pogosto tudi obdolţenci in njihovi zagovorniki. ...
... In many instances rape victims must undergo social stigma, and other socioeconomic issues. Often, they do not receive justice and must suffer secondary victimization whilst they interacting with officials of the criminal justice system (Sanders 2002; Uli Orth 2002; Bednarova 2011). As the Supreme Court ( V R Krishna Iyer ) of India pointed out in RattanSing vs State of Punjab (1979 4 SCC 719), victims of crime do not attract the proper and adequate attention of the Indian law is a weakness of Criminal Law jurisprudence and that deficiency in the system should be rectified by the legislature. ...
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The current social structure is centered on an archaic patriarchal ideology which has been a cause of oppression of womankind in Sri Lanka. This is clearly reflected in the increasing number of crime incidents against women. Rape is one such crime which causes physical and mental injury. Justice for the victims demands legal protection and assistance to them from the criminal justice administration. The question arises whether rape victims in fact receive true justice. The objective of the study is to ascertain whether the existing rape law adequately provides the legal protection for the victims of rape. To achieve this goal, High Court cases which were concluded in 2018 pertaining to rape in Negombo were analyzed. The data was analyzed to understand the vulnerability young girls for the offence of rape, the relationship between the accused and victim, delays in concluding the case, inappropriate punishment and inadequate compensation to prove the inadequacy of legal protection for rape victims in Sri Lanka. This study includes a total of 14 rape cases which were disposed (disposed pronouncing the judgment) by Negombo High Court in the year 2018.
... Legal scholars have divided victims' rights into two categories, namely service and procedural rights [10] (p. 52) [11]. Service rights are defined as initiatives that aim to provide victims with a better treatment and better experience in the criminal justice system and include, for example, rights to information/notification about important court dates and about the progress of their case, assistance for vulnerable victims, and compensation. ...
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Over the years, the role of victims in the criminal process has considerably evolved in common law jurisdictions, particularly in the United States and England and Wales. These notable developments have varied greatly between these two jurisdictions. These differences are in great part attributed to the different forces and rationales behind the emergence of the early victims’ movements in these respective jurisdictions. Indeed, the movements in the United States and England and Wales adopted different philosophies, strategies, and members came from different backgrounds, which can account for the differences in policies. This article engages in a process of comparative distancing between the forces that drove the movements, as well as the context under which they operated in order to understand the different policies, legal responses and debates that relate to the role of victims of crime in the two selected jurisdictions.
... Such delineations encourage narratives which construct the 'criminal' or the 'prisoner' as having actively forfeited their rights and are in keeping with discourses that define lawbreakers as 'other' (Drake 2012). Whilst such crude binary constructions have often appeared in media discourses in the wake of particularly violent or high-profile crimes, there has been an apparent increasing reliance on a zero-sum approach to victims' and offenders' rights in political rhetoric in Britain since the early 1990s (Sanders 2002). ...
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This article evaluates the contemporary discursive status of victims and people convicted of criminal offences. The rhetoric used by British politicians to convey the meaning of ‘rights’ is explored within media output, parliamentary speech-making and other forms of political discourse. Our analysis details how victims’ rights are sometimes advocated for at the expense of ‘offenders’ ’ rights in public discourse. Examination of parliamentary debates illustrates that differentiating between ‘victims’ and ‘offenders’ elides consideration of more meaningful support for victims, worsens opportunities for the reintegration of ex-prisoners and constructs a false dichotomy between citizens who do not fall into mutually-exclusive categories.
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This chapter analyses the key legislative and policy developments in Kenya designed to enhance victims' participation in criminal proceedings, with a focus on the initiatives mandating victim participation in sentencing through the use of victim impact statements. It argues that while victim-oriented policy and legislative developments in Kenya rhetorically include victims in the criminal process, the manner and form of inclusion betrays an overarching thrust to accentuate criminal justice goals, rather than the victims' interests per se. This is revealed by the selectivity by which victimhood is constructed, to include only victims whose input has evidentiary remit at sentencing as well as the inclination to give a premium to the evidentiary utility of victim impact statements from the vantage of judicial officers, while giving short shrift to its value to victims. Victim subjectivity appears to be telescoped by the need to limit such participation to its evidential value in consonance with the bipartite structure of the adversarial trial in which the victim has no party status.
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The necessity of providing required and necessary protection for the victims of crime is a matter of concerns in Sri Lanka today. Since 1995, several penal law amendments have been introduced to the legal system to strengthen the law relating rape and provide the justice- including protection- to rape victims. In 2015, the Assistance to and Protection of Victims of Crime and Witnesses Act No 4 of 2015 (APVCW) enacted with the purpose of ensuring the protection, providing assistance and support to the victims of crime. Even in such scenario, the victims of rape are (re) victimized in the hands of the officials of agencies of the criminal justice system in the country today. Therefore, this study intends to overview the existing substantive law relating to rape and the relevant procedural laws in that regard in order to critically evaluate the dilemmas in those laws which cause rape victims to be re-victimized in the criminal justice process. The paper is mainly based on secondary resources including, domestic penal statutes, international instruments, books, journal articles, web documents, decided cases etc. A brief statistical anlaysis of the offense of rape and observations and opinion of author based on personal interviews conducted with the officials of the criminal justice system in Sri Lanka and rape victims are also included to achieve the objectives of the study.
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Victim Impact Statement (VIS) is a crucial aspect in the process of dispensation of justice. It reinforces the participatory model of criminal justice system, wherein both the accused and the victim are significant and interwined in justice delivery mechanism. VIS has received little support from pro-accused activists who assert that the acceptance of such statements would make way for emotional blackmail and consequent enhancement of quantum of sentence. The claim has, however, been assailed by victimologists the world over, who have hailed the same as a positive assertion of the rights of the victim in the sentencing process. Simply speaking, a victim impact statement is a written or verbal statement made as part of the judicial legal process, which allows a victim of crime the opportunity to speak during the sentencing of the accused. It offers an opportunity to the victim or his/her family members to elaborate the trauma and hardships faced as a result of the crime committed. The present status of the victim or family, including the inconveniences faced, also become clear to the judge and allows him to make a decision. While VIS has been considered as significant and included as part of the criminal justice process in several nations across the world, India has remained rather unmoved and untouched. Several victimological approaches have been included in recent years in the criminal procedure of the land, yet impact statements seem to have eluded the legislators. This is particularly of significance in light of Indian judgments where the courts have reiterated that punishment must respond to the “society’s cry for justice”.
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Empirical studies over the past decades have repeatedly shown the limited usefulness of harsh punishment in reducing crime. In response to these research results, historical approaches to crime reduction, such as mediation and restorative justice, have regained prominence, especially in Germany and other western European countries. The women’s movement and the growing role of victimology have contributed to the increased use of these methods as alternatives to incarceration. The debates across these countries vary depending on the historical background of the penal climate in these states, which particularly explains the differences between Eastern and Western European countries in this regard. Empirical studies show the positive impact of mediation on offenders as well as victims. Yet in spite of these results, in most countries, including Germany, the use of mediation remains limited, especially in regard to adult offenders. At the same time, the uses of mediation in non-criminal conflict settings, such as schools, family or work disputes have increased significantly with positive results.
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Globally, at least one in three women will be beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused by an intimate partner over the course of her lifetime. It can be argued that the perpetuation of violence against women is a result of the failure to provide equality under international law and to protect universal human rights. Over the last three decades, the international community has utilized human rights instruments and international bodies of law to advance the conceptualization of women's rights as human rights. However, the continued prevalence of violence against women points to evidence of gender-based discrimination and lack of gender equality within the legal realm.This paper will highlight how the evolving jurisprudence of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the European Court of Human Rights has helped shape gender norms and reinforce positive State obligations to prevent and protect women against violence. Moreover, these shifts in the theoretical rights of women will be analyzed to see whether they are translated into practice within domestic jurisdictions.
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This paper argues that recent sustained criticism of judicial sentencing in England and Wales reflects a much deeper malaise afflicting the legitimacy of punishment in the late post-modern era. It suggests that this phenomenon not only threatens the liberal-consensus view of the judiciary as pivotal to the rule of law, but also undermines the rationality which underpins conventional paradigms of criminal justice more generally. The paper goes on to argue that there are important lessons to be learned from engaging with the debates about punishment and sentencing which are taking place on the international stage, suggesting that the crisis in domestic sentencing is really symptomatic of a more fundamental crisis in penal legitimacy affecting the whole of civil society; one that touches upon the role of punishment in the governance of so-called democratic states. The paper concludes that the time may have come to modify the predominant neo-liberal paradigm prevalent in western democracies by developing notions of punishment and sentencing as relational contexts which provide meaningful links between trial outcomes and aspirations for justice.