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The treatment of victims of crimes and offences in the Spanish system of justice

de la Cuesta, Jose
June 4, 2015

Source: (1998) In Support for crime victims in a comparative perspective, ed. Ezzat Fattah and Tony Peters, 69-81. A collection of essays dedicated to the memory of Prof. Frederic McClintock. With a preface by Ezzat Fattah and Tony Peters. Leuven, Belgium: Leuven University Press.

The authors maintain that Spanish law and criminal justice are primarily oriented toward determination of the offense and penal responsibility of the offender, not the interests of the victim. The victim does not have a significant status in Spanish criminal justice. Yet they note, as a first step, the emergence of some public offices to assist victims. With all of this in view, the authors examine certain aspects of the Spanish system with respect to victims: the criminal law; the procedural system; and the emerging offices for aid to victims. The section on these offices includes a brief history of them, and a sketch of the functioning of the office in Valencia and the criminal justice context there. As part of their examination, the authors present certain statistics on types of offenses, and the experiences of victims resulting from assistance they received. They conclude that efforts to address the needs and rights of victims are moving forward in Spain, but that much work remains to be done to increase the scope of victim assistance and integrate it into the criminal justice system.


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