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Victim Participation in Criminal Procedure: An Introduction

  • Kerstin BraunEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Victims and Victimology book series (PSVV)

Abstract

Many Western criminal justice systems saw the ‘rediscovery’ of the victim during the second half of the twentieth century in law, policy and legal-political dialogue. On the international level, in 1985 the United Nations Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power called upon Member States to improve the situation for victims in their national criminal justice systems. To attain this goal, the Declaration suggests that victims should be provided with certain rights during proceedings. While some of these are concerned with the respectful treatment of and the provision of information to victims, one specific principle submits that allowing victims to present views and concerns during proceedings and thus affording them some form of participation may enhance their situation. Whether and how victims are able to participate in national criminal justice systems, however, is up to the individual jurisdictions to decide and is heavily dependent on the respective legal system and tradition. This chapter first provides a brief outline of developments concerning victims’ participatory rights on the national and international level. It subsequently introduces the adversarial and non-adversarial criminal justice systems chosen for in-depth analysis of victim participation rights at the pre-trial, trial and post-trial stage. These are England and Wales, Australia and the US (adversarial systems), France and Germany (inquisitorial systems) as well as Denmark and Sweden (mixed systems). The chapter closes by highlighting the overall scope of this volume.

Keywords

UN declaration for victims Procedural justice Inquisitorial systems Adversarial systems Mixed criminal justice systems Participatory rights for victims 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Southern QueenslandToowoombaAustralia

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