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Crime Victims Are Given Right Of Review

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Job Hunter

Crime Victims Are Given Right Of Review

Post by Job Hunter » Wed Jun 05, 2013 10:30 am

Crime victims will be able to win the right to appeal against decisions by prosecutors not to charge suspects under new plans.

The Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer QC has put out to consultation plans for the new Victims' Right to Review (VRR) policy.

The proposals cover any decision taken by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) not to charge a suspect.

The change was prompted by a Court of Appeal ruling involving a case in which the CPS decided in 2007 not to bring sexual assault charges.

The decision was reversed by the Court of Appeal and in 2011 disabled man Christopher Killick was jailed for sexually abusing two fellow cerebral palsy sufferers.

The court stated "as a decision not to prosecute is in reality a final decision for a victim, there must be a right to seek a review of such a decision".

Unveiling the new policy, Mr Starmer said: "The criminal justice system historically treated victims as bystanders and accordingly gave them little say in their cases.

"The decisions of prosecutors were rarely reversed because it was considered vital that decisions, even when later shown to be questionable, were final and could be relied upon.

"This approach was intended to inspire confidence, but in reality it had the opposite effect. Refusing to admit mistakes can seriously undermine public trust in the criminal justice system."

Mr Starmer, who is stepping down in October, said the