The Legal System

Did you know that victims of crime, or grieving families after a murder, are not entitled to have a lawyer or barrister to represent them in court? 

‘Justice’ is commonly thought to be a right of citizens of a civilized country. Where someone suffers threats to harm, injury or someone is killed, people expect they have both a right to protection and that criminal action will be taken against the person who committed the crime.

We think our safety matters. We think our children and vulnerable people matter. We think our legal systems ‘work’ for the general good of the community.

If we find ourselves in a court matter as a victim of crime:

  • We expect, the judiciary to administer ‘justice’ to all concerned
  • We expect to seek the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth
  • We expect magistrates and judges to act with respect and courtesy, and to act without bias.
  • We expect a court case will proceed based on all the evidence
  • We expect that we will have ‘our day in court’ and that we will have the right  to be seen and heard, and if we choose, to have a legally qualified representative.

Unfortunately this is not the case, and the Victim Support Unit provides ongoing emotional support to people who find themselves lost the the legal system. We patiently explain the rights of the offender compared to the limited rights of a victim (view the Offender vs Victims Rights handout for more information). We explain the roll of a police prosecutor or DPP is to represent the community, and not specifically the victim of the crime. This imbalance between offender and victim is hard for our clients to understand, and often another layer of trauma they experience.

 

Did you know...

...that only a very small proportion of the crimes that are committed actually get into the criminal justice system. For every 1,000 'crimes' committed, only 400 are reported to the police - of which...

  • 0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 0

are deemed a 'crime'

  • 0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

'Crimes' detected

  • 0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Result in court conviction

  • 0
  • 1

Granted custodial sentence