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Response to the Ministry of Justice’s consultation on Revising the Victims’ Code

20 August 2015

Cover image for citizens advice consultation responseThis is the Citizens Advice response [ 130 kb] to the Ministry of Justice’s consultation on Revising the Victims’ Code of Practice

The revised Code aims to improve victims’ rights and ensure compliance with the EU Victims’ Directive.

The response:

  • welcomes changes which extend services offered under the Code to victims of any criminal offence

  • welcomes the identification of further organisations responsible for the provision of services under the Code

  • welcomes the right of victims to receive a written acknowledgment stating the basic elements of the criminal offence concerned

  • recommends that more efforts should be made to ensure the Code is more widely known among victims

In April 2015, Citizens Advice began delivery of the Witness Service in criminal courts across England and Wales.

The Witness Service provides practical help, emotional support and information to witnesses so that they feel valued, respected and informed and able to give their best evidence in court. Victims made up 51% of the witnesses seen by the Witness Service in the quarter beginning April 2015.

Citizens Advice understands the issues faced when people become involved in complex legal issues. In 2013/4, bureau staff and volunteers helped over 140,000 people with legal issues. Of these, over 40,000 clients needed advice about court proceedings.