Victims rights and the standing of victims in criminal procedures
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Victims Rights and the Standing of victims in criminal procedures. Focus in judicial cooperation lies traditionally on the investigating authorities and speeding up their procedures Other important actors in die criminal procedure are: defendants/suspects victims. Shift of focus.

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Victims rights and the standing of victims in criminal procedures
Victims Rights and the Standing of victims in criminal procedures

  • Focus in judicial cooperation lies traditionally on the investigating authorities and speeding up their procedures

  • Other important actors in die criminal procedure are:

  • defendants/suspects

  • victims


Shift of focus
Shift of focus procedures

  • From „repressive measures“, targeting only the interests of investigating authorities to minimum standards safeguarding the rights of the defendant and the victim

  • For enhancing mutual trust between the judicial authorities, but also among the citizens towards other EU legal systems

  • Framework Decısıon on the Standıng of Vıctıms ın 2001


Conclusions of the european council in tampere 1999
Conclusions of the European Council in Tampere 1999 procedures

  • Minimum standards should be drawn up on the protection of victims of crimes, on particular on victim's access to justice and on their right to compensation for damages, including legal costs.


Respect and recognition
Respect and Recognition procedures

  • Victims should have a real and appropriate role in the criminal legal system

    • Differences between euroopean continental systems ans common law

  • They shall be treated with due respect for the dignity of the individual during proceedings

    • Unclear definition, difficult relation to the rights of the defendants

  • Special attenntion shall be given to particularly vulnerable victims

    • Who is particularly vulnerable? Children, handicapped or victims of specific crimes, such as rape, trafficking etc.


  • Right to be heard and to supply evidence
    Right to be heard and to supply evidence procedures

    • Most MS grant victims an effective role during the criminal procedure. The exact extend varies however.

    • Again, the common law countries (Ireland and the United Kingdom) do not consider victims as a „party“ of the criminal procedure

    • MS shall take the necessary measures to ensure that its authorities question victims only insofar as necessary for the purpose of the investigation

      • MS have taken different measures to comply with that, f.e. Training courses for judges and prosecutors on how to question or a right for the victim to refuse subsequent questioning


    Right to receive information
    Right to receive information procedures

    • Victims shall have access, from their first contact with law enforcement authorities, in „languages commonly understood“ to information relevant for the protection of their interest.

      • What is a „language commonly understood“?

      • Way of accession: personal information, information paper, booklet, internet.


    Information which should be provided
    Information which should be provided procedures

    • Organisations or authorities to which a victim can turn to receive support

    • The type of support which can be received

    • Where and how to report the offence

    • Procedures following such a report

    • Where and how to obtain protection

    • Access tolegal advice/legal aid

    • Compensation

    • Special arrangements for non resident victims

    • Notification about the outcome of the proceedings and the release of the offender from prison


    Communication safeguards
    Communication safeguards procedures

    • Taking into consideration the communication difficulties, by language problems, educational level, age, trauma


    Reimbursement of expenses
    Reimbursement of expenses procedures

    • Right to reimbursement of expenses which have occured due to the legitimate participation in the criminal proceedings, f.e. As a witness according to the rules of national law

    • Problem: in some Member States the victim has to claim the expenses from the offender and thereby bears the risk that the offender cannot pay

    • In most MS iit is a claim towards the state!


    Right to protection
    Right to protection procedures

    • MS shall ensure a „suitable level“ of protection of victims, particularly as regards their safety and privacy

      • For example by prevention the taking of photos in court room

  • Avoiding contact between victim and offender within the court premises

    • Special waiting areas for victims

  • Specialconsideration shall be given to the most vulnerabel vivtims, esp. Children

    • To that extend new technologies can be of help, such as the transmission via video conference


  • Right to compensation in the course of criminal proceedings mediation
    Right to compensation in the course of criminal proceedings /mediation

    • Most MS recognized a partie civile within a criminal precedure, in which the victim can obtain a compensation from the offender

      • In Common Law no such civil procedure existswithin the criminal procedure

  • Mediation shall be promoted for offences the MS considers appropriate

  • Any settlement between the offender and the victim shall be taken into account


  • Victims resident in another ms
    Victims resident in another MS /mediation

    • MS shall ensure that the specific difficulties are minimised, for example by making use of video or tlefone conferencing and hearing

    • Victims shall be able to make a complaint before the competent authorities of his State where he resides. The authorities of that Staate shall transmit der statement without delay to the competent authorities of the State where the offence has happened


    Involvement of victim support organisations ngo s
    Involvement of Victim Support Organisations /NGO`s /mediation

    • Important for the victim, because they can be partial and clearly stand on the side of the victim!

    • Problem: Very different structures in the MS

    • Not alle VSO`s are funded sufficiently


    Training for judges prosecutors and police
    Training for judges, prosecutors and police /mediation

    • MS shall encourage initiatives enabling personnel involved in proceedings or otherwise in contact with victims to receive suitable training with particular refernce to the needs of the most vulnerable groups

      • Special situation of judged

      • Specialized staff in most MS


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