Constructing Victims Rights: The Home Office, New Labour, and Victims

Hardcover | December 14, 2005

byPaul Rock

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Despite plentiful discussion at various times, the personal victim has traditionally been afforded almost no formal role in the criminal justice process. Victims' rights have always met with stout opposition from both judges and the Lord Chancellor, who have guarded defendants' rights; themaintenance of professionally-controlled and emotionally unencumbered trials; and the doctrine that crime is at heart an offence against society, State, or Sovereign.Constructing Victims' Rights provides a detailed account of how this opposition was overcome, and of the progressive redefinition of victims of crime, culminating in 2003 in proposals for awarding near-rights to victims of crime.Based upon extensive observation, primary papers, and interviews, Paul Rock examines changes in the forms of criminal justice policy-making within the New Labour Government, observing how they shaped political representations and activities centred on victims of crime. He reveals how the issues ofnew managerialism, restorative justice, human rights, race and racism (after the death of Stephen Lawrence), and the treatment of rape victims after the trial of Ralston Edwards came to form a critical mass that required ordering and reconstruction. Constructing Victims' Rights unpicks and explains the resultant battery of proposals and the deft policy manoeuvre contained in the Domestic Violence, Crime, and Victims Bill of 2003. This, the solution to a seemingly intractable problem, was a work of finesse, proposing on the one hand, theimposition of statutory duties on criminal justice agencies and the granting of access to an Ombudsman, and on the other, a National Victims' Advisory Panel that would afford victims a symbolic voice, and a symbolic champion: a Commissioner for Victims and Witnesses.

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Despite plentiful discussion at various times, the personal victim has traditionally been afforded almost no formal role in the criminal justice process. Victims' rights have always met with stout opposition from both judges and the Lord Chancellor, who have guarded defendants' rights; themaintenance of professionally-controlled and em...

Paul Rock is Professor of Social Institutions at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:608 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 1.45 inPublished:December 14, 2005Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199275491

ISBN - 13:9780199275496

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Table of Contents

PrefaceAcknowledgements1. Prelude: Crime and Victims at the Turn of the Century2. The Home Office at the Turn of the Century3. Committees4. The Victim as Consumer5. The Victim and Human Rights6. The Victim and Compensation7. The Victim and Reparation8. The Vulnerable or Intimidated Victim9. The Victim and Race10. Consummation11. ConclusionIndex