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Vol 23 No 3 March/April 2018

Book of the Month

Cover of Scamell and Gasztowicz on Land Covenants

Scamell and Gasztowicz on Land Covenants

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Victims Rights, Human Rights and Criminal Justice: Reconceiving the Role of Third Parties

ISBN13: 9781841136035
Published: April 2008
Publisher: Hart Publishing
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Paperback
Price: £41.99

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In recent times, the idea of 'victim rights' has come to feature prominently in political, criminological and legal discourse, as well as being subject to regular media comment. The concept nevertheless remains inherently elusive, and there is still considerable ambiguity as to the origin and substance of such rights.

This monograph deconstructs the nature and scope of the rights of victims of crime against the backdrop of an emerging international consensus on how victims ought to be treated and the role they ought to play. The essence of such rights is ascertained not only by surveying the plethora of international standards which deal specifically with crime victims, but also by considering the potential cross-applicability of standards relating to victims of abuse of power, with whom they have much in common.

In this book Jonathan Doak considers the parameters of a number of key rights which international standards suggest victims ought to be entitled to. He then proceeds to ask whether victims are able to rely upon such rights within a domestic criminal justice system characterised by structures, processes and values which are inherently exclusionary, adversarial and punitive in nature.

Human Rights and Civil Liberties
1. The Evolution of Victims' Rights
I. The Victim through History
Shifting Ideologies: The Political State
II. The Rebirth of the Victim
Victims in Contemporary Criminal Justice Policy: The Realisation of Rights?
III. The Normative Basis for Victims' Rights
Defining 'Victims'
Defining 'Rights'
The International Perspective
IV. Victims' Rights and the Adversarial Process
2. The Right to Protection
I. Protection from Victimisation
Positive Obligations: The Duty to Protect Life
Ramifications for Domestic Practice
II. Secondary Victimisation
The Nature and Extent of the Problem
International Standards
Domestic Practice
IV. Conclusions
3. The Right to Participation
I. Prosecution and Pre-Trial Processes
Influencing Prosecutorial Decisions
Private Prosecutions
Preparing for Trial
II. The Trial Process
Participation within the Adversarial Context
III. Sentencing
The International Perspective
Domestic Practice
IV. Conclusions
4. The Right to Justice
I. International Standards
International Human Rights Law
Progressing the Concept
II. The Right to a Remedy in the Domestic Legal Order
Victims of Non-State Crime
III. A Right to Truth?
International Developments
Truth in the Adversarial System
The Trial
The Verdict
IV. Conclusions
5. The Right To Reparation
I. Reparation as an International Standard
The Origins of Reparation in International Law
Reparation in Human Rights Law
Lessons from International Criminal Law
II. Realising Reparation in the Criminal Justice System
State Compensation
Reparation from the Offender
III. Rethinking Reparation
IV. Conclusions
6. A Place For Victims' Rights?
I. Victims' Rights and Adversarial Justice
The Nature of Victims' Rights
The Inherent Limits of Adversarial Justice
II. Alternative Approaches
Restorative Justice
The Inquisitorial Approach
III. Looking to the Future
Reforming the Adversarial Paradigm