Using victim personal statements to inject restorative principles into criminal sentencing
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×

Like this? Share it with your network

Share

Using victim personal statements to inject restorative principles into criminal sentencing

  • 188 views
Uploaded on

Slides from a presentation delivered at Hatfield College, University of Durham.

Slides from a presentation delivered at Hatfield College, University of Durham.

More in: Education
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Be the first to comment
    Be the first to like this
No Downloads

Views

Total Views
188
On Slideshare
188
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
0

Actions

Shares
Downloads
0
Comments
0
Likes
0

Embeds 0

No embeds

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
    No notes for slide
  • Marshall’s definition of RJ: Restorative Justice is a process whereby parties with a stake in a specific offence collectively resolve to deal with the aftermath of the offence and its implications for the future.
  • PARTICIPATION RATES
    15% Scotland Leverick,
    30% England and Wales pilot evaluation, Hoyle et al.
    Witness  and  Victim  Experience  Survey  (WAVES)  data  derived  from  victims interviewed in England and Wales reveal that only a minority of victims submit a 
    Victim Personal Statement (VPS). Over the last 3 years, less than half (42%) of the victims interviewed for the WAVES survey recalled being offered the opportunity to 
    make a VPS. Roberts and Manikis 2011.

Transcript

  • 1. Using victim personal statements to inject restorative principles into criminal sentencing: potential and pitfalls. Louise Taylor 6th November 2013
  • 2. Victim Personal Statements – an overview • Introduced across England and Wales in October 2001 to give victims a voice and place them at the heart of the criminal justice system. • Provision of an enhanced service under the Victim Focus Scheme for families bereaved by homicide. • The VPS allows victims to outline the impact of the crime upon them in a written statement to police. • The statement is added to the case papers and made available to the sentencer for consideration once a guilty verdict has been reached. • Disclosed to the defence.
  • 3. In support of Victim Personal Statements: The EU Victims Directive (2012/29/EU) • Adopted in October 2012. • Article 10 – ‘Member States shall ensure that victims may be heard during criminal proceedings and may provide evidence.’ • Article 27 – ‘Member States shall bring into force the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with this Directive by 16 November 2015.’
  • 4. In support of Victim Personal Statements: Improving the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime Consultation 2013 • To give full effect to the Directive the Government has proposed to include reference to the Victim Personal Statement Scheme within their proposed Revised Code of Practice. • The proposed Revised Code extends the scheme to include Community Impact Statements (para 50-51) and Impact Statements for Businesses (para 53-55).
  • 5. What is the purpose of Victim Personal Statements? • Para 42 of Improving the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime Consultation: ‘The primary purpose of the VPS is to give victims a voice in the criminal justice process and criminal proceedings when a case goes to court. The legal purpose of the VPS is to give an accurate picture of the impact of the offence on the victim which can then be taken into account when sentencing the relevant offender. It can also be used to inform bail decisions.’
  • 6. Restorative Potential of VPS • Erez suggests that VPS can: – Provide an opportunity for court supervised communication of victim harm to the offender. – Provide an opportunity for victim healing and empowerment. – Provide offenders with a true picture of the harm their offending has caused which may encourage them to apologise. – Open up lines of communication between victims and offenders.
  • 7. Possible pitfalls • Low victim participation rates • Victims being allowed to unduly influence sentencing outcomes. • Rising then dashing victims’ expectations • Vengeful victims
  • 8. Some concluding thoughts… • Restorative justice does not need to be an ‘all-or-nothing’ alternative to criminal justice; it can be appropriately injected into the existing justice system. • The restorative potential of victim personal statements needs further exploration. This should be clearly spelled out to practitioners in any new guidance on the scheme. • The main arguments levied against victim participation through victim personal statements are not supported by the empirical research.
  • 9. References: • Doak, J., and O’Mahony, D., ‘The Vengeful Victim? Assessing the Attitudes of Victims Participating in Restorative Youth Conferencing.’ (2006) 13(2) International Review of Victimology 157. • EU Directive 2012/29/EU establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victim of crime. • Erez, E., ‘Integrating restorative justice principles in adversarial proceedings through victim impact statements’ in: Ed Cape (ed.), ‘Reconcilable rights?.’ Legal Action Group, London, 2004. • Ministry of Justice, ‘Improving the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime Consultation.’ London, 2013. • Roberts, J. V., and Manikis, M., ‘Victim Personal Statements: A Review of Empirical Research.’ Ministry of Justice, London, 2011.
  • 10. References: • Doak, J., and O’Mahony, D., ‘The Vengeful Victim? Assessing the Attitudes of Victims Participating in Restorative Youth Conferencing.’ (2006) 13(2) International Review of Victimology 157. • EU Directive 2012/29/EU establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victim of crime. • Erez, E., ‘Integrating restorative justice principles in adversarial proceedings through victim impact statements’ in: Ed Cape (ed.), ‘Reconcilable rights?.’ Legal Action Group, London, 2004. • Ministry of Justice, ‘Improving the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime Consultation.’ London, 2013. • Roberts, J. V., and Manikis, M., ‘Victim Personal Statements: A Review of Empirical Research.’ Ministry of Justice, London, 2011.