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“Why should victims of crime be compensated?”

Wright, Martin
June 4, 2015

Source: (1998) In Support for crime victims in a comparative perspective, ed. Ezzat Fattah and Tony Peters, 83-94. 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.

Citing ancient and modern examples, Wright observes that restitution and atonement have been required in many cultures and periods. Upon this basis, he identifies basic principles and issues concerning such compensation. He discusses two forms of compensation: compensation paid by the offender; and compensation paid by the state. State compensation may be paid for medical care; pain, suffering, and loss of amenity; and loss of earnings. He also describes exclusions from state compensation in the British legal context. Additionally, he makes several proposals about compensation, notably the idea that society or the community can provide compensatory assistance in similar areas: medical and psychological care; pain, suffering, and loss of amenity; and earnings and other financial loss. Other proposals relate to reparation paid by offenders. He concludes by speculating that the growing interest in compensation may be the beginning of a transformation of the philosophy of criminal justice, where the first concern of society in response to crime would be the needs of the victim.


AbstractCourtsPost-Conflict ReconciliationPrisonsRestitutionVictim Support
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