Victims’ Rights in England and Wales at the Beginning of the Twenty-first Century

Paul Rock

in Understanding Social Change

Published by British Academy

Published in print February 2005 | ISBN: 9780197263143
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734939 | DOI:

Series: British Academy Centenary Monographs

Victims’ Rights in England and Wales at the Beginning of the Twenty-first Century

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This chapter examines the way in which the victim of crime, the ‘forgotten party’ of the criminal justice system has started to regain something of the standing of an interested party with recognised rights in the justice system. A number of causal narratives are involved in this gradual process of change. First, there have been outside influences with statements and declarations of individual rights from the United Nations, North America and Europe which saw the eventual enactment of the Human Rights Act in 1998. Second, the ‘new managerialism’ of recent Conservative and Labour governments gave rise to the idea of the citizen as a customer in a market of services delivered by the state. Third, is the notion of reintegrative shaming, modelled on Maori justice in New Zealand, and intended to lead to a rapprochement in which the victim is no longer so fearful or angry and the offender better understands the impact of his actions and is reunited with the moral community rather than outlawed from it.

Keywords: victim; criminal justice system; Human Rights Act; new managerialism; reintegrative shaming; Maori justice

Chapter.  12674 words. 

Subjects: Social Research and Statistics

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