Society questions proposals to introduce a "victim surcharge"
The Law Society has today, Tuesday 23 April, questioned proposals to introduce a new victim surcharge, arguing that such a change is unlikely to bring increased benefits to victims.
Peter Lockhart, member of the Law Society of Scotland's Criminal Law Committee, said: "The Society supports the objectives of the Victims and Witnesses (Scotland) Bill. However, we believe certain elements of the Bill can be improved upon, particularly surrounding proposals to introduce a new victim surcharge.
"The court already has the power to make a compensation order to victims of crime; we are therefore uncertain what additional benefits a victim surcharge will bring."
Notes to editor
Peter Lockhart, member of the Law Society of Scotland's Criminal Law Committee, provided oral evidence to the Scottish Parliament's Justice Committee on the Victims and Witnesses (Scotland) Bill on Tuesday 23 April 2013.
The Law Society of Scotland's written evidence on the Victims and Witnesses (Scotland) Bill can be viewed on the Society's website
Section 22 of the Victims and Witnesses (Scotland) Bill proposes the introduction of a victim surcharge, which will result in offenders paying towards the cost of supporting victims. Scottish courts currently already have the power to make offenders pay towards the cost of supporting victims through compensation orders.
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23 April 2013