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Criminal Proceedings

Volume 458: debated on Wednesday 14 March 2007

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what assessment she has made of the benefits of allowing relatives of victims to make statements at criminal trials following the recent pilot schemes. (127191)

The Victims' Advocates is being piloted in five crown courts and provides bereaved families in murder and manslaughter cases with the choice to tell the court about the impact of the crime on them. The pilot is being independently evaluated with the final report due in the autumn.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what assessment she has made of the effect of relatives of victims making statements at criminal trials on juries and their ability to determine the facts of cases. (127192)

The Victims' Advocates pilot scheme provides bereaved relatives of murder and manslaughter victims with the choice to make a statement about the effect of the crime on their family. The statement is delivered to the court after conviction but before sentence and therefore does not impact on the role and decisions of the jury.