New statutory role for victims in NI

Victim Personal Statements are being introduced in Northern Ireland. This will allow victims to express to the court how their experience of the crime has impacted their lives, a process which takes place following conviction and prior to sentence being passed. Justice Minister David Ford has announced his intention to bring forward legislation which will underpin the process, which has been available in a more informal manner for some time. It will allow the victim, a representative or a bereaved family member to address the court, establishing guidelines and procedures.

Read more about the proposed legislation here.

BBC news article here.

The use of Victim Impact Statements was given legislative basis in Ireland in the Criminal Justice Act 1993. In 2011, the Northern Ireland Assembly published its research paper on the use of victim testimony.

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