Victim policy transfer: Learning from each other

Author(s)Wemmers, Jo-Anne
Title Victim policy transfer: Learning from each other
Source European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research. Vol 11, Number 1, March 2005. Springer Netherlands
Date 2005
Document type Journal article
Coverage Europe
Summary This paper examines the relatively recent introduction of victim impact statements (VIS) in several European countries. The author discusses the civil legal tradition in Europe and the formal rights it already provides to victims in the criminal justice process. The strengths and weaknesses of the adhesion procedure and the auxiliary prosecutor are considered. The two functions of VIS, expressive and instrumental, are discussed and compared with the other rights available through the civil law traditions. One advantage of VIS is that they are available to all crime victims, regardless of whether the case was plea-bargained. However, it is noted that as an auxiliary prosecutor, victims had formal legal rights and were regarded as legitimate participants in the trial process. The author suggests that future research is needed to see if European judges, who are used to victims having formal rights, regard VIS differently than common law judges.
Keywords Victim impact statements; civil law.
Topic Victim impact statements