Victims' Rights and Restorative Justice

3090 WordsJun 22, 201813 Pages
Introduction Agreeing on a definition of restorative justice has proved difficult. One definition is a theory of justice that focuses mostly on repairing the harm caused by criminal behaviour. The reparation is done through a cooperative process that includes all the stakeholders. Restorative justice can also be explained as an approach of justice that aims to satisfy the needs of the victims and offenders, as well as the entire community. The most broadly accepted definition for restorative justice, however, is a process whereby all the parties that have a stake in a specific offence collectively resolve on how to deal with the aftermath. This process is largely focused around reparation, reintegration and participation of victims. That…show more content…
In the U.K., a vulnerable victim is clearly defined by section 16 as any of the following: • Children under 18 • Any other witness whose quality of evidence in court is likely to be diminished because of: o a mental disorder o a significant impairment of intelligence and social functioning o a disability or physical disorder However, not everyone with a disability is vulnerable. The vulnerability depends on the nature of the disability. On the other hand, an intimidated victim or witness is described by the law in section 17 as victims or witnesses whose quality of evidence is likely to be diminished by reasons of fear or distress. Reasons for calling a victim intimidated include: • The nature and alleged circumstance of the offence • Age • Social and cultural background and ethnic origins • Domestic and employment circumstance • Religious beliefs or political opinions The victim can also be intimidated by the behaviour of the defendant, members of the accused person’s family or associates, or any other person who is likely to be an accused person or a witness in court proceedings. Most intimidated victims or witnesses are involved in cases of domestic violence, gang-related crimes, or crimes motivated by race, religion, disability, homophobia, or transphobia. They may also be victims and witnesses who have experienced past or repeat harassment or bullying.
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