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Proposals for revising the Victims’ Code

MA response

18 September 2019
Proposals for revising the Victims’ Code

The MA has submitted a response to the Ministry of Justice’s consultation on proposals for revising the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime. The consultation was the first stage in delivering the Ministry of Justice’s commitment to consult on a strengthened Victims’ Code, which will be both clearer and more responsive to the changing nature of crime and victims’ needs. The MA's response made the following points:

  • There should be more focus in the code on providing information about the justice system itself, so victims can understand the process and their opportunities to engage with it.
  • The second consultation could focus on a number of specific areas, including the interaction between the criminal and family justice systems, victim engagement and staying informed about bail and remand decisions, victims who may be caught up in the criminal justice system as defendants where alleged offending is linked to their status as victims, and a separate section of the Code for victims of crime where offenders are under the age of 18 years.
  • There should be separate guidance aimed at victims which is concise and more accessible.
  • Agencies should be provided with more discretion on when the Victim Personal Statement (VPS) is offered, which would mean that victims are able to give their VPS at a later point, or amend it when the full impact of the crime is understood or if they are no longer going to be giving evidence at a trial.
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