House of Commons Library

Rights of victims of crime

Published Monday, March 12, 2018

A Westminster Hall debate on Rights of victims of crime is scheduled for Tuesday 13 March 2018 at 2.30pm. The Member leading the debate is Alex Sobel MP.

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Currently victims’ rights are set out in the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime. This sets out what victims should expect from various criminal justice agencies. 

Although the Code is a statutory one, provided for in the Domestic Violence Crime and Victims Act 2004, failure to comply with it does not of itself make a person liable to criminal or civil proceedings. Courts can take such failure into account in other proceedings however.  Some argue that the “rights” in the code are not sufficiently enforceable.  The Victims Commissioner and Victim Support have pointed to problems with victims being given their rights under the Code.

In the run up to the 2015 and the 2017 General Elections, various political parties including the Conservatives promised legislation on victims’ rights.

The Government has said it will publish a strategy for victims "by the summer".

Commons Debate packs CDP-2018-0066

Authors: Pat Strickland; Sarah Pepin

Topic: Crime

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