Justice Committee seeks views from those directly affected by crime

21.02.2013

The views of people who have been directly affected by crime are asked for by the Justice Committee as part of its call for evidence on the Victims and Witnesses (Scotland) Bill published today.

The Bill’s aims are to put victims’ - and those who appear to be victims - interests at the heart of on-going improvements to the justice system and ensure witnesses are able to fulfil their public duty in court effectively.

Justice Committee Convener Christine Grahame MSP said:

“It is vital this Bill improves the rights and support for victims and witnesses as they pass through the criminal justice system.

“We are interested in hearing from those who have been directly affected by crime. Should offenders contribute to the cost of supporting victims? Should vulnerable witnesses have an automatic right to give their evidence behind a screen or by CCTV? And more generally, does the Bill do enough to balance the rights of victims with those of offenders?”

The Health and Sport Committee is the secondary committee on the Bill and will examine the two sections dealing with the proposal to establish a National Confidential Forum. This aims to provide an opportunity for adults who were placed in institutional care as children to recount their experiences, including abuse, in a confidential, non-judgemental and supportive setting.

Background

The Victims and Witnesses (Scotland) Bill implements the EU Directive 2012/29/EU in relation to minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime, which was adopted in October 2012.

All submissions in response to the call for evidence should be received by midday on Tuesday 9 April 2013.

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