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.63-79.

During the past two decades, writes Marc Groenhuijsen, nearly all modern criminal justice systems have enacted reforms on behalf of victims of crime. Even criminal justice systems that are significantly different have produced strikingly similar provisions with respect to the interests of crime victims. Groenhuijsen contends, however, that two general problems remain unsolved. One is implementation. Reforms are comparatively easy to pass; they are much more difficult to put into practice as intended. The other is the precise theoretical nature of the reform efforts on behalf of crime victims. That is, are they merely refinements of currently existing criminal justice systems? Or are they expressions of a new way of thinking, a way of thinking which is incompatible with the basic structure of the traditional model of criminal justice, especially insofar as they are part of the wider movement which is restorative justice? Groenhuijsen addresses these two problems as closely interconnected. Thus, in this chapter he explores victims’ rights and restorative justice with respect to fundamental questions of incremental change or shift in paradigm when it comes to crime and response to crime.