Victims and the sentencing process: developing participatory rights?

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Doak, J ; Henham, R ; Mitchell, B (2009)

Recent years have seen a number of developments pertaining to the notion that victims should be afforded a ‘voice’ in the criminal justice system. The theoretical and structural parameters of the adversarial system are not, however, conducive to exercising such a role. For many, conferring procedural rights on victims jeopardises the due process rights of the accused, as well as the public nature of the criminal justice system. In light of the recent decision to roll out the ‘Victims' Focus Scheme’ across England and Wales, this paper explores a number of issues of principle that arise – not least the deeper policy implications of an apparent re-alignment of the normative parameters of the criminal justice system to incorporate the private interests of third parties.
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