Source: (2004) In, Hendrik Kaptein and Marijke Malsch. Crime, Victims, and Justice. Essays on Principles and Practice. Hampshire, England and Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing. Pp. 16-30.

Ezzat Fattah observes that various developments in recent decades - for example, enhanced awareness of victims' rights and the passage of victims' right bills in a number of countries - may lead to the popular perception that victims of crime are much better off now than they have ever been. It may appear that criminal justice systems have moved from emphasis on the offender and obsession with punishment to victim-centered or victim-oriented policies and objectives. However, he contends, the reality is far different from popular perception and political rhetoric. Progress has been made; gains have been achieved. Nevertheless, the situation of the vast majority of victims has scarcely improved, asserts Fattah. Fundamental change must yet occur if the real interests of victims are to become the main objectives of the criminal justice system. As Fattah explores and argues in this chapter, there must be a paradigm shift from retributive to restorative justice.