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Following fierce campaigning by victims’ groups, the international community has entered into a debate that aims to move the victim from the margins to the centre of the criminal justice system. For instance, the European Union has recently entered into a process of legislative and policy reforms with the aim of strengthening the rights of victims in criminal proceedings. By November 2015, all EU member states had to modify their domestic laws to give effect to the Directive 2012/29/EU establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime. For the first time, restorative justice is explicitly regulated at EU legal level, as the Directive aims to establish a baseline for its safe implementation across member states.

This ground-breaking and timely edited collection aims to contribute to this international debate. The book aims to challenge current thinking while highlighting good practices that respect and safeguard victims in the criminal justice and restorative justice processes. The book uses a combination of theoretical and empirical analysis while utilising original research data. Leading experts in the fields of victimology, restorative justice, human rights, criminology and justice take bold steps in advancing the debate for a victim-led criminal justice system. The book also aims to give voice to victims directly by involving them as authors of its chapters/ case studies and as research participants. The book also includes sample training material, best practice and guidelines through the contribution of victims, offenders and experts from across Europe.



"Thank you for your active engagement with the Ministry of Justice in progressing this important project that will help inform future restorative justice policy. Gaining the insight of victims, offenders and practitioners will be important in considering how restorative justice practice can be made more effective for the public." UK Ministry of Justice

A Victim-led Criminal Justice System

  • Gavrielides, T. (2014), A victim-led criminal justice system: Addressing the paradox, London: IARS Publications. ISBN 978-1-907641-27-5.


    Also available on Kindle via this link



    • Editor's note & acknowledgements, Theo Gavrielides;
    • Foreword, Olivier Tell, European Commission


    Part I: A new narrative for victim policy;

    • Why victims’ voices matter in criminal justice policy and reform; Gabrielle Browne, victim of crime
    • The fluidity of victimhood; Elaine Shpungin
    • Restorative justice and sexual violence: Overcoming the concerns of victim-survivors; Shirley Jülich and Fiona Landon
    • Achieving balance: Towards rights-centred justice; Anne Hayden


    Part II: Safeguarding victims and empowering professionals: five country case studies

    • The Victims' Directive and the project Restorative Justice in Europe: Safeguarding victims and empowering professionals: an overview; Theo Gavrielides
    • From the margins to the centre: a victim-focused criminal justice system for the United Kingdom,Grace Loseby
    • The victims' Directive and restorative justice in Germany; Arthur Hartmann and Marie Haas
    • Empowering restorative justice in Greece: One step forward for victims; Vasso Artinopoulou and Iro Michael
    • Safeguarding victims and empowering professionals in The Netherlands: State of the art and vision for the future; Anneke van Hoek and Gert Jan Slump
    • More Justice for Crime Victims in Bulgaria; Dobrinka Chankova
    • Repositioning the Victim: Comparing and Learning; Theo Gavrielides


    Part III: Case studies and Best Practices


    Part IV: Empowering Victims and Professionals

    • The tools, Sample Training Tools for Professionals
    • A Victims’ Guide to Restorative Justice, Victim and Offender Profile Assessment Tools.
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