Criminal Justice Model

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The Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 recognises that some victims and witnesses may have significant difficulties giving evidence in court as a result of their age, fear of intimidation, and/or circumstances . These include: Giving evidence behind a screen positioned around the witness box; giving evidence by a live TV link from a room outside the courtroom; giving evidence in private by clearing the courtroom of members of the public; removal of wigs and gowns by judges and lawyers; use of video-recorded interviews as evidence in chief; examination of the witness through a Registered Intermediary; and the provision of aids to communication such as through a computer or other device to communicate when giving evidence.
1.2.4 Victims
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This examination of the criminal justice system is also done by Sir Keir Starmer as he traces the development of victims’ rights in the last 15 to 20 years and demonstrates the importance of human rights law in shaping that development in his article Human Rights, Victims and the Prosecution of Crime in the 21st Century. The basic thesis of that article is that “victims’ rights present a fundamental challenge to the basic criminal justice model which has been in place in most common law countries for decades if not centuries; that key developments in victims’ rights would not have taken place without the positive approach of human rights law (comparing here to the negative freedoms approach of the common law); and that the readjustment of our criminal justice arrangements to accommodate victims’ rights, whilst well and truly under way, is far from complete” . To help develop this thesis, he examined four aspects of the criminal justice arrangements which are of crucial importance to victims: the criminal law itself; the investigation of individual allegations of crime; the decision of the prosecutor whether or not to bring criminal charges against a suspect; the hearing before the…show more content…
Starmer contends that, any debate about victims’ rights in a criminal justice context has to start with the criminal law itself. To him, unless the law ‘adequately and effectively’ protects the rights of victims, there can be no question of a criminal investigation and prosecution. This fundamental proposition was accepted by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) when it found a violation of the rights of a 16-year-old rape victim where her mental handicap was such that she was unable to make a personal complaint and her father was not authorised to file one on her behalf. The Court ruled that civil remedies were not an adequate response to serious wrongdoing, thus effectively creating a right of access to criminal

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