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Victims' rights in criminal trials: prospects for participation

Author(s) Doak, Jonathan
Title Victims' rights in criminal trials: prospects for participation
Source Journal of Law and Society, vol 32, (2), pp 294-316
Date 2005
Document type Journal article
Coverage United Kingdom
Summary This article considers victims participation in trials, with reference to the historical and current situation in England, and the advances in European jurisdictions. A number of barriers to victim participation are identified, including the structure of the adversarial criminal justice system and perception of victims' role and standing. The author discusses the victim/prosecutor relationship, and how it has changed, including contact between the parties before a trial and limitations of this relationship. Discussion of victim participation in the inquisitorial system indicates there has been reluctance in practice to involve the victim as a participant. The author recommends looking at the European experience to ascertain the various structures that need to be in place to allow victims a participatory role in criminal trials in England. The author concludes by suggesting a more participatory role for victims will serve the interests of victims by allowing them to tell their story but also act as an indispensable aid to truth-finding and the integrity of the criminal justice system
Keywords Role; participation; victims rights; criminal trials; criminal justice system
Topic Victims rights