Voices after the killing: Hearing the stories of family victims in New South Wales

Author(s)Booth, Tracey
Title Voices after the killing: Hearing the stories of family victims in New South Wales
Source Griffith Law Review 3; (2001) 10(1)
Date 2001
Document type Journal article
Coverage NSW, Australia
URL http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/GriffLawRw/2001/3.html
Summary This article reports on the preliminary findings of a study of victim impact statements (VIS) submitted in murder trials in NSW. One finding from the study was that the submission of a VIS appeared to be on an ad hoc basis with an apparent lack of a central agency assisting family members, resulting in different modes of presentation and a remarkable variety in the quality of statements. The most compelling finding identified by the author was that the nature of the harm suffered by family victims reflects a myriad of losses that can be categorised as personal loss and so diverse that an objective assessment of those harms would be problematic. In conclusion the author suggests that even if VISs by family victims cannot be used in NSW to determine sentencing it is essential family victims have a voice in the criminal justice system through the VIS and it is important that the court publicly comments on these.
Keywords Victim impact statements; VIS; homicide victims; family victims
Topic Victim impact statements