Expanding the role of victims and the community in sentencing

Author(s)Webster, Adam
Title Expanding the role of victims and the community in sentencing
Source Criminal Law Journal, Vol 35, Part 1. 2011
Date 2011
Document type Journal article
Coverage South Australia
Summary This article discusses the legislative amendments in South Australia in 2010 that allowed a victim to make a recommendation as to sentence and allowed the prosecutor or the Commissioner of Victims' Rights to submit a community impact statement. Potential problems were identified with using the community impact statements including untested evidence, possibly from an unidentified source; the unlikelihood of the community impact statement addressing personal circumstances such as injury or loss; and the effect and scope of offences of the same kind. The article also discusses whether recommending a sentence will assist the court, the victim, and the defendant. The author concludes that providing the court with a recommendation as to sentence is unlikely to assist the court or the victim and suggests that it is important to educate and inform the victim to allow more realistic expectations of the criminal justice process.
Keywords Victim impact statements; sentencing; social impact statement
Topic Victim impact statements