Victims’ Rights

The Conservative government in Ottawa introduced the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights last week.

Canada is not the only country where such legislation is topical, and interestingly conservative politicians are not the only ones promoting it.

The Victims’ Task Force, founded by the UK Labour Party, will be meeting victims groups and justice representatives in London today. The Labour Party has committed to a “radical change in approach”. If a law is passed it will be the first in Britain’s legal history.

On both sides of the Atlantic and on both ends of the political spectrum, the same conclusion seems to have been reached: victim’s rights will only be taken seriously if they are enshrined in law. 


  1. David Collier-Brown

    I’m glad it’s toothless: a victim’s rights bill with real powers contradicts a very important concept, that of “the king’s peace”.

    Taking vengence out of the hands of the person harmed was a rather important step in creating a world where one could expect justice from the King, rather than having to engage in a vendetta with your attacker.

    It’s interesting that my American friends seem to think that, for any given harm, they need to sue. Calling the police is by no means the first thing they think about…

    Trial by battle, with lawyers as one’s champions?