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Victim Participation: Investigation and Pre-trial Decisions

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

Abstract

This chapter examines victims’ participatory rights in the selected jurisdictions during the pre-trial phase in light of four specific decision-making processes, which may particularly affect victims and their interests. These are: the non-investigation and non-prosecution decision, the decision to grant the accused pre-trial release from incarceration and lastly the decision to enter into an agreement in exchange for certain sentencing considerations. Much research relating to victim participation, especially in common law jurisdictions, focuses on the victims’ possibility to be heard at the sentencing stage. This is often analysed through the use of Victim Impact Statement (VISs), statements describing how the crime has affected the victim. There has been less scholarly attention focused on victim involvement in decisions made during the pre-trial and post-trial phase. While victims’ interests may be affected during the trial proper and at sentencing, it cannot be overlooked that their interests may also be significantly impacted by decisions taken before or after the trial. In fact, many cases may never proceed to the (full) trial stage for various reasons rendering the pre-trial phase the only criminal justice space in which victims could potentially participate. The analysis proceeds by tracing the possibilities for victim participation in detail in each of the selected jurisdictions. The pattern continues subsequently in Chapter 5, analysing victim participation during the trial and sentencing stage, and Chapter 6, concerned with participatory rights post-trial.

Keywords

Victims’ participatory rights Pre-trial phase Non-investigation decision Non-prosecution decision Pre-trial detention and bail decisions Decision to enter into a plea agreement 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Southern QueenslandToowoombaAustralia

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