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Victim lawyers, victim advocates, and the adversarial criminal trial.

Kirchengast, Tyrone
June 4, 2015

Source: (2013) New Criminal Law Review. 16(4):568-594.

Adversarialproceedings in common law jurisdictions tend to exclude the victim
of crime. Although victim impact statements provide some role for victims
following conviction but before sentencing such statements may not influence
the actual sentencing outcome, despite allowing for a therapeutic experience
that may encourage the restoration of the victim. The introduction of victim
lauyers across certain common law jurisdictions, including England and Wales,
the United States and Australia, allows victims to retain private counsel to
represent their interests alongside those of the state, from pretrial hearings and
potentially through to appeal. By comparison, various civil law jurisdictions
following an adversarial trial process, including Sweden, have long allowed
such representation. This article provides a comparative assessment of the rise of
victim lauyers in common law jurisdictions, arguing that access to private
counsel is an important development in criminal justice that allows for the
expression of the agency of the victim as a signficant stakeholder in adversarial
systems ofjustice. (author’a abstract)


AbstractCourtsPrisonsRJ OfficeSystemVictim Support
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