Safe Justice for Victims of Crime. Discussion paper
After forty years of the same statements, of rights that are not implemented, of rights that cannot be exercised, of victims being marginalised, a change in approach is required. The commitments made by governments and international organisations must become a reality for victims.
The Safe Justice paper aims to kick-start this change. At its heart is the realisation that the treatment and safety of victims must be a clearly stated objective of Justice – a measurement of its success – equal in importance to other principles of justice, including the right to a fair trial.
Safe Justice starts from the position that strategies, laws, rights, policies and practices for victims in criminal justice should be designed to address the harm to victims and meet their needs. In doing this, it must be victim sensitive – following core principles of recognition, respectful treatment, empowerment, wellbeing & safety.
Those actions may then be adjusted to be balanced with other principles of justice, such as fair trial rights, impartiality, due process, non-discrimination, equality of arms, as well as feasibility.
This is an integrated, victim-sensitive approach to justice.