Victim Perspectives and Criminal Justice

  • Kerstin BraunEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Victims and Victimology book series (PSVV)


The two main traditional criminal theories, non-consequentialist and consequentialist theories, also frequently referred to as retributive and utilitarian theories, were developed to explain the basic underpinnings of, and reasons for, criminal law and punishment. They aim to justify state-based criminal justice in relation to the consequences for the defendant and for society on the whole. The theories have impacted the development of many domestic legal systems and their criminal justice responses to certain issues. While the two schools have been subject to criticism from varying perspectives, the chapter does not directly enter this aspect of the debate. Instead, it focuses on whether and how the theories in their classical form relate to victims of crime. This is done with a view to examining the possible impact of said theories on the general role of victims in national criminal justice. Subsequent analysis turns to more contemporary criminal theories developed with victims and their role in criminal justice systems in mind. Finally, the chapter ponders what the impact of criminal theory could be on the understanding of, and attitudes towards, crime victims in national justice systems today.


Retributivism Utilitarianism Restorative justice Expressive criminal theory Consequentialist Non-Consequentialist 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Southern QueenslandToowoombaAustralia

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