The dead victim, the family victim and victim impact statements in New South Wales

Author(s)Booth, Tracey
Title The dead victim, the family victim and victim impact statements in New South Wales
Source Current Issues in Criminal Justice, v.11, no.3, Mar 2000; pp292-307
Date 2000
Document type Journal article
Coverage NSW Australia
Summary This article examines the use of victim impact statements (VIS) by family victims in New South Wales. The legislative framework is outlined, with reference to NSW in the Australian context and including specific provisions in the legislation such as the definition of victim and the prescribed contents of a VIS. The purposes of sentencing and the role of victim impact statements is examined. The final part of the article examines family victims and VIS and considers the decision in R v Previtera where Hunt CJ ruled that where evidence from family members only describes the effect of the deceased's death upon family members, it will be outside the purview of the sentencing court. The questions of retribution, and victim worthiness are also considered, together with a discussion about the variable quality of VIS also raising obstacles to the integrity of the sentencing process.
Keywords Victim impact statements; Previtera; sentencing
Topic Victim impact statements