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Victim Participation and Sentencing in England and Italy: A Legal and Policy Analysis.

Henham, Ralph
June 4, 2015

Source: (2003) European Journal of Crime, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice. 11(3): 278-317.

The internationalization of criminal justice has focused attention on the need to understand how the essentials of criminal trial processes and practices in specific jurisdictions (both national and international) are constructed, negotiated and relate to one another. This necessitates debates regarding the synthesis and differences of paradigms of criminal trial processes (i.e. civil/inquisitorial and common law/adversarial), the analysis of hybrid jurisdictions and the socio-historical and cultural reasons for their development. Within this comparative dimension, this paper’s focus on victim participation in sentencing is timely in that it addresses fundamental questions relating to access to justice both within and across jurisdictions that are of immediate concern to the development of internationalized paradigms of criminal justice processes. More particularly, it endeavours to connect legitimate victim concerns for penalty with the developing place of victims within restorative justice. To date, most relevant research and policy analysis has treated these aspects as parallel streams, and thereby failed to realize the potential for victim integration in sentencing to produce a rounded and more inclusive framework for punishment and resolution options. We argue that this is a crucial policy purpose for the realization of more balanced notions of justice, which feature victim access and interests beyond measures of individual harm and just deserts. (excerpt)


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