​Restorative justice and the status of victims in criminal proceedings: the past and future of victims’ rights

Author(s) Banach-Gutierrez, Joanna Beata
Title Restorative justice and the status of victims in criminal proceedings: the past and future of victims' rights
Source International Perspectives in Victimology; August 2011; Vol.6, No.1, p45-60
Date 2011
Document type Journal article
Coverage Poland
Summary This article explores the application of victims rights in strengthening the role of victims in the criminal justice system and the role of restorative justice. The provisions of a right to restorative justice in Europe are discussed, including the UN Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power, and the draft UN Convention on victims' rights. An in depth study of the legal status and rights of victims of crime in the Polish criminal justice system, is presented by the author. In Poland, in some circumstances, victims of crime have the right to take action against an offender and argue the cases in court as a private prosecutor. Polish legislation also allows for mediation and conciliatory procedures, however restorative justice is not well supported by the judicial officers and prosecutors, and as a consequence restorative programs are not widely applied. The author suggests further empirical and comparative research is needed on the standing of victims in criminal proceedings.
Keywords Victims rights; criminal justice system; restorative justice; mediation; conciliation; Convention; Poland
Topic Restorative justice