Society speaks up for victims' rights
The Law Society of Scotland has today backed the Scottish Parliament's Justice Committee's recommendation that a new law, designed at placing victims' interests at the heart of ongoing improvements to the Scottish justice system, clearly defines who is a "victim."
Peter Lockhart, a member of the Law Society of Scotland's Criminal Law Committee, said:
"A clear definition will be crucial if the Bill is to deliver on its promise - to place victims' interests at the heart of on-going improvements to the Scottish justice system.
"The Bill affords rights to victims, for example, rights to certain case related information (such as what stage the criminal proceedings have reached) without actually defining who or what a victim is.
"The Society agrees with the Justice Committee's recommendation to the Scottish Government that the legislation should contain a definition of 'victim'. We raised this point in written and oral evidence to the committee, as we consider it important that individuals are clear what rights they have under the Bill."
Notes to editors
The Scottish Parliament's Justice Committee stage 1 report on the Victims and Witnesses (Scotland) Bill was published on 3 June 2013. It can be viewed here
The Law Society of Scotland's written evidence can be viewed here
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03 June 2013