Explore the reasons why victim participation creates tension and conflict in the contemporary criminal justice system.
The purpose of this literature review is to explore the impact of victim statements in the contemporary criminal justice system and observe how it can create tension and conflict in the courtroom between the victim, and the courts process itself. There are two pieces of literature used as the focal point of this review, they are; Tracey Booth’s journal article from the Australian & New
Zealand Journal of Criminology entitled ‘Cooling out’ (2012), and the third chapter from James
Dignam’s published University text entitled ‘Victims and the Criminal Justice System’. The focus
of …show more content…
With the changing process of the criminal justice system, victims are receiving a greater opportunity to contribute to what they believe are their ‘own’ cases in the decision making process and are more likely to be awarded compensation for loss or injury.
However, Dignam also highlights that information is still often arriving late to the victims and also incomplete in nature, often leaving victims without full explanations of why criminal processes have occurred and resulted the way they have. Which when combined with victims risk of secondary victimisation through intimidation of edited VISs and only the allowance to obtain redress with the offender through a confrontational role in the criminal justice system has led to the environment in which tension and conflict can occur.
In regards to the question posed that victim participation creates tension and conflict in the contemporary criminal justice system Booth’s piece of literature complements it rather well by demonstrating exactly how tension and conflict can arise due to on the spot amendments to VISs amongst other court actions. Booth has then explained how these incidents can be reduced through cooling off processes. However, it can be stated the evidence lacks the scope of the overall process in Australia, as these explanations have been sourced from 18 sentencing hearings observed in the