LAWS 3306 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Victim Impact Statement, Restorative Justice, Exclusionary Rule

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2 Aug 2016
Department
Course
Laws 3306
Mar 28
-fed government has promoted interest in victims by being tough on crime. Treated this as a populous
movement.
-various provinces have since enacted their own bill of rights legislation.
-most victim rights victories are through harsher punishment.
Victimization surveys
-unreported crime is popular.
-25% of people are victims however many of these crimes are very minor.
-people use these statistics to justify harsher punishment. Problem with this is that not all victims seek
punishment.
-90% of sexual assaults not reports, 68% of assaults, over 50% of robbery and 32% of break and enter
not reported.
-this might be because it was dealt in different way, event was minor, don’t trust police etc…
-high levels of unreported has been used to argue reformation and harsher punishment.
-after abolition of capital punishment, gvmnt was fearful people were losing faith in CJS. So they began
to put more focus on crime victims, they became the consumers of the CJS.
Task forces
-In Canada, crime victims were gvmnt interest. In US it was a more populous movement.
-USA task force proposed to deny bail more frequently, making more difficult to access victim records,
abolishing exclusionary rule, abolish parole, allow victim to make submissions to parole boards, create
victims bill of rights, changing son of sam law
-this includes no discussion about crime prevention. Only deals with things post incident.
-Canadian task force was dominated by bureaucrats. Was different from US because they placed
emphasis on needs of victims rather than their rights. They did not oppose the due process model
because it was seen as necessary. Changes again did not have to do with restorative justice or crime
prevention
-recommendations include: restitution orders, victim impact statements, the return of victims property,
publications bans, victim fine surcharge.
-some of these were implemented.
-victims should be treated with integrity and respect. Should be supplied more info from crown.
Victims Bill of rights
-when you approach victim’s rights only through criminal justice will only increase state intervention.
Courts were reluctant to do this.
-victims also often don’t want to be involved in process.
-UN contemplated positive state intervention and placed policy in context of social policy.
-UN declarations recommended restorative justice to be used. Did not focus on CJS process. Much more
of a holistic approach
-Canada solely focused on the criminal justice aspect.
-Manitoba was first province to enact bill of rights in 1986 to protect victims. They defined them as
consumers and victims of due process.
-in MTB the victims bill of rights provided alternative to prosecution. Victims were given info about
restorative justice.
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