Rights of victims of crime to be strengthened

Fine Gael TD for Dublin Fingal and member of the Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality, Alan Farrell has stated that it is positive news for victims of crime that the Heads and General Scheme of the Criminal Justice (Victims of Crime) Bill has been approved by Government, as confirmed by the Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald TD.


“I am pleased that the Government has approved the Heads and General Scheme of the Criminal Justice (Victims of Crime) Bill. This bill, when passed, will provide those who are victims of crime with greater levels of support and more information which will remove the unnecessary stress that they are faced with following difficult and traumatic experiences.


“The purpose of this bill is to provide victims of crime with statutory rights and formal recognition which will ensure that they are no longer left on the periphery of the justice system. Instead, people who are victims of crime will have a right to information on their role in the justice system. Furthermore, they will have a right to be updated on the progress of investigations and, most importantly, assessment of, and protection from, the risk of any secondary or repeat victimisation.


“It is essential that adequate support is provided to people who have had a crime committed against them and that they are placed at the heart of our criminal justice system. For too long this has not been the case. Under this bill, victims of crime will have the right to know why a prosecution has not taken place in their case and to have that decision reviewed. In addition to this, they will also be informed of the release, or request for release, from prison of any person who perpetrated a crime against them.


“This bill signifies an important change to the way our criminal justice system functions and I hope that it will provide any person in the North County who is a victim of crime with extra support and reassurance as they deal with what is a very traumatic experience.”