Fine Gael Plans Victims' Rights Bill

Fine Gael has published a Victims Rights Bill, which would give victims of crime specific rights and make provision to have their interests defined and protected.

The bill, published as part of the party's new victims' rights campaign, would require the State and its agencies to inform victims of crime of the appropriate and necessary services available to them and of the legal remedies they can use to obtain personal protection when necessary.

Victims would also have the right to be kept informed of progress made in the investigation of a crime reported by them; of the progress before the courts of any prosecution initiated and of the outcome of any court proceedings relating to their case.

Following conviction, victims would also be entitled to make representation on the convicted offender's applications for parole and release.

Commenting on the new proposals, Party Leader Enda Kenny said: "There is a common perception that criminals have more rights than victims. This Fine Gael Bill will give to victims of crime for the first time comprehensive statutory rights under Irish law and makes statutory provision for a Victims' Rights Charter."

Alan Shatter, the party's spokesperson on children, said: "For the first time in Irish law, all victims of crime will be given a voice and the recognition that they deserve. They will also for the first time be entitled to have any violation of their rights investigated and reported upon, introducing greater transparency and accountability into our criminal justice system."


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