Community Legal Centres Queensland believes that victims of crime should be supported, be treated with respect, and play an appropriate role in the criminal justice process.
Community Legal Centres Queensland fully supports the United Nations Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power and in particular article 4 – 7 which deal with access to justice and fair treatment:
1. Victims should be treated with compassion and respect for their dignity. They are entitled to access to the mechanisms of justice and to prompt redress, as provided for by national legislation, for the harm that they have suffered.
2. Judicial and administrative mechanisms should be established and strengthened where necessary to enable victims to obtain redress through formal or informal procedures that are expeditious, fair, inexpensive and accessible. Victims should be informed of their rights in seeking redress through such mechanisms.
3. The responsiveness of judicial and administrative processes to the needs of victims should be facilitated by:
a. Informing victims of their role and the scope, timing and progress of the proceedings and of the disposition of their cases, especially where serious crimes are involved and where they have requested such information;
b. Allowing the views and concerns of victims to be presented and considered at appropriate stages of the proceedings where their personal interests are affected, without prejudice to the accused and consistent with the relevant national criminal justice system;
c. Providing proper assistance to victims throughout the legal process;
d. Taking measures to minimise inconvenience to victims, protect their privacy, when necessary, and ensure their safety, as well as that of their families and witnesses on their behalf, from intimidation and retaliation; and
e. Avoiding unnecessary delay in the disposition of cases and the execution of orders or decrees granting awards to victims.
4. Informal mechanisms for the resolution of disputes, including mediation, arbitration and customary justice or indigenous practices, should be utilized where appropriate to facilitate conciliation and redress for victims.
Community Legal Centres Queensland advocates
- an appropriate, independent mechanism for review of victims of crime compensation payments;
- enforcement mechanisms (other than the State Penalties Enforcement Registry) suitable for government recoupment of compensation payments from perpetrators of crime;
- Equitable and supportive treatment of all persons who are, or who claim to be, victims of crime.
Listed below are a range of research papers, submissions, news articles and items of interest that provide additional information on this subject area.