Source: (2014) International Review of Victimology. 20(1):145-169.

This article comprises an overview of the principal normative and operational issues that arise in both common and civil law states’ arrangements for the compensation and reparation of victims of crime. Balancing what are inevitably generalized statements about jurisdictions within federal common law countries and within the European Union, the article illustrates these issues with details drawn from the civil and criminal justice systems of England and Wales. The article begins with some general observations about the ways in which compensation and reparation by offenders and compensation by the state form elements in a state’s overall objectives for victims within its criminal justice system, and addresses the question of what we might understand by ‘compensation’ in a criminal justice context, and how that sits with civil justice. For this purpose ‘compensation’ may be understood both in the compendious sense of any offender or state financial payment in respect of a victim’s loss or injury or of the offender’s direct or indirect restoration of stolen or damaged property, and in its discrete sense of a purely monetary response distinct from the non-monetary responses that characterize ‘reparation’ − responses now widely associated with restorative justice. The article provides some detail on compensation and reparation by offenders as forms of criminal justice disposals, and on the scope and the functions of state compensation schemes. (Author's abstract)