Bargaining with justice: victims, plea bargaining and the Victims' Charter Act 2006 (Vic)

 
 
Author(s)Flynn, Asher
Title Bargaining with justice: victims, plea bargaining and the Victims' Charter Act 2006 (Vic)
Source Monash University Law Review,2012, Vol 37, No. 3, pp.73-96
Date 2012
Document type Journal article
Coverage Victoria, Australia 
Summary In this article the author analyses the plea bargaining process in Victoria, Australia and the impact of the Victims Charter Act 2006 (Vic). In a three year study interviews were conducted with a range of participants, including articled clerks, solicitors, prosecutors, Witness Assistance counsellors and judicial officers. The study also included a four-month observation component. The possible benefits of plea bargaining and possible negative outcomes for victims are discussed in depth. The effect of plea bargaining on victims preparing victim impact statements is explored. From the study the author found  that the statutory recognition of victims' rights in the Charter has made a significant difference in prosecutorial approaches to plea bargaining, through keeping victims informed and generally seeking their opinions prior to making decisions. However the author recommends there needs to be a greater level of external accountability, transparency and legitimacy, so that justice may be seen to be done.
Keywords Charter; plea bargaining; victim impact statement; justice; satisfaction.
Topic

Victims rights