Consultation on the victim statement scheme
Date: 29th October 2019
Category: Equal protection from violence
The Scottish Government is consulting on widening the scope of the current victim statement scheme and considering new ways for victim statements to be made to the court.
In Scotland, victims of the most serious crimes may be eligible to make a victim statement. This statement gives a victim the chance to tell the court – in their own words – how a crime has affected them physically, emotionally and financially. The victim statement is taken into account by the Judge or Sheriff in reaching their sentencing decision. At the moment, the statement can be presented only in written form.
The list of offences in relation to which a statement can be made was prescribed in 2009. Since then a number of new, serious offences have come into force in Scotland, including stalking and domestic abuse aggravation. However, a victim statement cannot be made relation to these crimes.
The consultation seeks views on how the current list of offences should be updated and which offences should be included, as well as help the Scottish Government consider whether new ways for presenting victim statements should be piloted.
A consultation discussion event will be held in Edinburgh on 1st November 2019.