Accommodating the expressive function of victim impact statements: The scope for victims' voices in Dutch courtrooms

Tracey Booth, Alice Bosma, Kim Lens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

The expressive function of victim impact statements (VISs) enables victims to have a voice in legal proceedings—to speak and be heard about the harm caused by the offence. VISs have been adopted in many jurisdictions. While research reveals legal and institutional constraints on the expressive function of VISs in many jurisdictions with adversarial proceedings, we know little about the implementation of VISs in inquisitorial systems. We address this gap by reporting ndings of an observational study that examines the scope for victims’ voices in criminal legal proceedings in the Netherlands. We nd that these proceedings are better adapted to accommodate the expressive func- tion of VISs. There is greater scope for victims to speak and be heard through their VISs.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberazy001
JournalBritish Journal of Criminology, delinquency and deviant social behavior
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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Netherlands
jurisdiction
legal proceedings
Victim Impact Statements
Courtroom
Expressive Function
offense
Proceedings
Jurisdiction
Offence
Observational Study
Harm
The Netherlands

Cite this

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title = "Accommodating the expressive function of victim impact statements: The scope for victims' voices in Dutch courtrooms",
abstract = "The expressive function of victim impact statements (VISs) enables victims to have a voice in legal proceedings—to speak and be heard about the harm caused by the offence. VISs have been adopted in many jurisdictions. While research reveals legal and institutional constraints on the expressive function of VISs in many jurisdictions with adversarial proceedings, we know little about the implementation of VISs in inquisitorial systems. We address this gap by reporting ndings of an observational study that examines the scope for victims’ voices in criminal legal proceedings in the Netherlands. We nd that these proceedings are better adapted to accommodate the expressive func- tion of VISs. There is greater scope for victims to speak and be heard through their VISs.",
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AB - The expressive function of victim impact statements (VISs) enables victims to have a voice in legal proceedings—to speak and be heard about the harm caused by the offence. VISs have been adopted in many jurisdictions. While research reveals legal and institutional constraints on the expressive function of VISs in many jurisdictions with adversarial proceedings, we know little about the implementation of VISs in inquisitorial systems. We address this gap by reporting ndings of an observational study that examines the scope for victims’ voices in criminal legal proceedings in the Netherlands. We nd that these proceedings are better adapted to accommodate the expressive func- tion of VISs. There is greater scope for victims to speak and be heard through their VISs.

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