​Giving victims a voice: on the problems of introducing victim impact statements in German criminal procedure

Author(s) Braun, Kerstin
Title Giving victims a voice: on the problems of introducing victim impact statements in German criminal procedure
Source German Law Journal; 2013; Vol.14, No.9, p1889-1908
Date 2013
Document type Journal article
Coverage Germany
Summary In this article the author analyses whether victim impact statements (VIS) could be introduced in Germany. An examination of VIS schemes operating in Australia is presented, followed by a discussion of victims and their current role in the German inquisitorial system. In Germany certain victims can present views and concerns by joining the prosecution as a Private Accessory Prosecutor. Issues related to introducing a VIS scheme in German criminal trials are discussed, with a major barrier the fact that in Germany and Australia there is no separate trial and sentencing stage. Other barriers are the need to present all evidence orally in German courts and the necessity to cross examine every VIS. The author concludes by suggesting a review of existing victim participation rights in Germany with a view to modifying and expanding to more or all victims.
Keywords Victim Impact Statement; VIS; participation; rights; adversarial; sentencing
Topic Victim Impact Statements

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