Consultation on improving the experience of victims and witnesses in the criminal justice system: a new three year Victim and Witness Strategy; and the establishment of a Victims of Crime Commissioner for Northern Ireland

Closed 29 Jul 2021

Opened 6 May 2021


The Minister of Justice is committed to improving the experience of and outcomes for victims of crime in Northern Ireland.

The impact of crime for victims and witnesses can be significant.  We also recognise that the process of engaging with the criminal justice system can also be daunting, challenging and at times confusing for victims and witnesses.

The Department of Justice has already put in place a range of measures to support victims and witnesses and there are rights and entitlements contained in the Victim and Witness Charters. These include the services and standards that victims and witnesses should expect as they engage with the criminal justice system.

However, we know that the system does not always meet the needs of victims and witnesses.  Feedback, surveys and reviews have highlighted to us where more can be done to improve experiences and outcomes for victims and witnesses.

That is why we want to hear your views on two new proposed initiatives that should enhance the work and measures already in place to help, support and represent victims and witnesses of crime.  The consultation is in two sections:

  • a new draft Victim and Witness Strategy for Northern Ireland; and
  • the establishment of a Victims of Crime Commissioner.

The Department wants to hear your views on the proposals in this consultation and is keen to hear any other comments that you consider relevant on the Victim and Witness Strategy and / or on a Victims of Crime Commissioner.  The consultation is structured in a way that you are able to provide your views on either initiative or to respond to both initiatives.  We would be particularly pleased to hear from victims of crime, organisations representing victims of crime, criminal justice organisations and practitioners, frontline workers and service providers.


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