The evidential quality of victim personal statements and family impact statements

Edwards, Ian (2009) The evidential quality of victim personal statements and family impact statements. International Journal of Evidence and Proof, 13 (4). pp. 293-320. ISSN 1365-7127

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Victim personal statements (VPS) were introduced by the UK government in 2001 and family impact statements (FIS) in 2007. This article explores the evidential quality that VPS/FIS have at sentencing. First, the article considers the notion of procedural fairness for offenders and the relationship between it and the rationales for VPS/FIS. Secondly, as a case study, it explores the introduction of victim impact statements (VIS) in South Australia where the evidential quality of VIS was a central issue during parliamentary debate on the introduction of victims' rights to present orally their VIS. Thirdly, it evaluates the current law relating to the admissibility and evidential quality of VPS/FIS in English law. It is argued that incorporating victims' information in sentencing has the potential to undermine key principles of procedural fairness, but VPS/FIS pose little threat to the fair treatment of offenders in light of judicial guidance.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Law
Depositing User: Julie Frith
Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2010 09:21
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2023 17:32
DOI: 10.1350/ijep.2009.13.4.330

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