Government launches new Victims' Code at The City Law School
The Ministry of Justice has held an event at The City Law School to introduce the new Code of Practice for Victims of Crime. It was hosted by Justice Secretary Chris Grayling, Victims' Minister Damian Green and the Victims' Commissioner Baroness Newlove. Ministers were joined by invited guests who contributed to the Code's development and those responsible for implementing it.
The new Code aims to put victims first in the criminal justice system and sets out in plain English what people should expect from the moment they report a crime to the end of a trial. For the first time it includes tailored advice for under-18s and their guardians on attending court and giving evidence.
The Code is designed to make sure that victims of the most serious crimes, including hate crime, domestic violence, terrorism and sexual offences, persistently targeted victims and all vulnerable and intimidated victims get access to vital services, like pre-trial therapy and counselling.
Justice Secretary Chris Grayling commented:
"Victims deserve the best possible support to cope and recover from the effects of crime. I want to create a fairer criminal justice system where victims have a louder voice and those who break the law are more likely to go to prison for longer. I also want to ask everyone working with victims to help deliver the promises in the new Code and make sure their needs are put first."
The new Code came into force on 10th December 2013. It has been written with victims as the audience and with the intention of making it more accessible than its predecessor. During the event at City, the MoJ unveiled the materials developed to explain the new Code to the public.
Peter Hungerford Welch is Assistant Dean (Professional Programmes) of The City Law School:
"As a provider of training for both current and future legal professionals, City was honoured to host the launch of such an important code of practice. The School has a strong history of informing best practice in the criminal justice system, particularly in the area of improving the experience of vulnerable witnesses".
The new Victims' Code is part of the Criminal Justice Strategy and Action Plan. This was launched in June to help speed up the justice process through a range of actions including, the digitalisation of the courts process, easier access for victims and witnesses to give evidence in court, and a more transparent and responsive criminal justice system.