The Victims Bill
We need big change to reap the rewards of Restorative Justice (RJ), and right now there is a real opportunity for the Government to commit to making it available for everyone affected by crime and conflict.
That opportunity presents itself as the Victims Bill. The Bill is being prepared to go through Parliament this year, and the Government has long promised it will strengthen the rights of those of us who are harmed by crime.
This legislation offers the Government a chance to be the champions and world leaders in RJ by:
- Legislating for Restorative Justice to be available to every victim of crime at the point of need.
- Providing statutory footing for the 12 entitlements in the Victim Code of Practice.
- Creating clear leadership from the top with a National RJ action plan to be laid before Parliament every year, a dedicated Minister of Restorative Justice, and a team of civil servants.
- Substantial investment into making Restorative Justice available to everyone.
The government carried out a public consultation on the Victims Bill to hear from organisations. The draft bill has since been published and the Justice Select Committee has undertaken pre-legislative scrutiny to consider any changes that need to be made to the Victims Bill before it is introduced to parliament.
The Justice Select Committee will likely publish its report on the Victims Bill in September 2022, at which point the government will have 60 days to respond and implement any suggested changes. The Bill will then be introduced to parliament.
We have set out three key changes that need to be made to the Bill in order to make information about Restorative Justice more consistently available for victims of crime.