Courting compassion: victims, policy, and the question of justice


Author(s)Walklate, Sandra
Title Courting compassion: victims, policy, and the question of justice
Source The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice,May 2012, Vol. 51, No.2, pp 109-121
Date 2012
Document type Journal article
Coverage United King​dom
Summary In this article the author provides an overview of victim-focused policies over the last decade and discusses the efficacy of the interventions that have been developed from the policies including some limitations of the Victims' Code of Practice. The authors suggests that despite political and advocate rhetoric suggesting otherwise, victims of crime do not have a general legal claim to rights, except in very particular circumstances. The 'rebalancing' agenda is seen to have been a conceptual failure that is hidden by an overriding drive to court compassion for the victim of crime. The politics of compassion is explored further and it is suggested that much of the victim-centred policy only addresses the concerns expressed by the 3% of victims who engage with the criminal justice system above and beyond any initial contact they might have had with the police. The author suggests that little has been done in real terms for this representative proportion of victims.
Keywords Victims' rights; code; charter; service delivery; criminal justice system; advocates

Victims rights