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Well-informed? Well represented? Well nigh powerless? Victims and prosecutorial decision-making

Author(s)Wade, Marianne, Lewis, Christopher and Aubusson de Cavarlay, Bruno
Title Well-informed? Well represented? Well nigh powerless? Victims and prosecutorial decision-making
Source European Journal of Criminal Policy Res (2008) 14:249-261
Date 2008
Document type Journal article
Coverage Europe
Summary This article examines the ways prosecutors in Europe engage with victims and consider the opinions of victim. The authors discuss the use of diversionary measures and conclude that one of the main reasons for the increased use of alternative procedures and case-endings within the European criminal justice system is to improve efficiency or save money on court processes. It was noted that in a number of the countries studied, such as Switzerland and Germany, victims have a right to become additional prosecutors alongside the PPS to represent their interests more strongly in court. It is found that victims' rights vary significantly across Europe but there are fairly strong international rights and ones to compensation in most of the countries studied with other rights such as seeing evidence and participating in the proceedings stronger in some jurisdictions than others. The issue of victims losing their rights when prosecutors use discretionary powers to impose a condition other than mediation or restitution or to use an alternative procedural route is examined. The study also found that the prosecutors were the key people providing information and other access to other services for victims of crime.
Keywords Victims roles; criminal proceedings; prosecutor; criminal justice system; rights
Topic Victims rights