Current developments and reforms that occur nationally and internationally in order to incorporate victims’ rights in the criminal justice system will be debated at IARS’ 3rd International Annual Conference 2014 titled “A Victim-led Criminal Justice System?”, that will take place during International Restorative Justice Week 2014, on 19th-20th November in central London at the Honourable Society of Middle Temple (Middle Temple Lane, EC4Y 9AT). The event will be co-chaired by Dr. Theo Gavrielides (IARS Director) and Patron Simon Israel (Channel 4 TV).
Confirmed keynote speakers include: Mike Penning MP (Justice Minister), Ingrid Bellander-Todino (Deputy Head of European Commission Directorate General Justice), Alison Saunders (Director of Public Prosecutions), Felicity Gerry QC, (Barrister and Academic at Charles Darwin University, Australia and our Patron), Sir George Newman (The Surveillance Commissioner).
Justice Minister Mike Penning said: "It is so important victims' are heard throughout the justice system and placed at the forefront of reforms."Recovering after a crime can be difficult but we have taken a number of steps to help victims cope with what they have been through and to make sure they are a priority. "I very much look forward to expanding on these themes at the conference and hearing from others with an interest in this area."
Dr. Theo Gavrielides - IARS Founder and Director said: “It is a great privilege to hold this event at a critical point in the development of new criminal justice policies internationally. These reforms will arguably see the victim moved from the margins to the centre of state attention. I look forward to debating the evidence that will be presented by the international delegates”.
The 2-day conference will be an unprecedented gathering of influential figures from policy, academia, research and practice. Key policy figures from the UK and overseas will join together with academics, researchers, legal and restorative justice practitioners to debate current developments and reforms in regards to victims’ position in the criminal justice system and set out a strategic direction that unlocks the way for a human rights centered criminal justice system.
The Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders, said: “This is a really dynamic time for the criminal justice system. Since becoming DPP, I have put victims at the centre of everything we do, from setting up dedicated victim liaison units across England and Wales, to exploring new ways of telling victims what they can expect when asked to give evidence. I am delighted to have been asked to speak at this conference and I look forward to sharing the successes and challenges we at the CPS have experienced so far.”
This timely debate will commend on recent governmental pledges to adopt a major set of reforms that further ensure that victims’ rights are enshrined in law. The pledge is aligned with European and international debates that call for legislative and policy reform to strengthen and improve victims’ position in the criminal justice system.
Real stories of victims of crime will also complement this international debate reporting on their experiences with the criminal justice system.
Felicity Gerry QC - Specialist in cases involving sexual offending and co-author of The Sexual Offences Handbook said: “It really is time to recognize that people with vulnerabilities and disabilities can be assisted to fully participate in the trial process without in any way compromising the effectiveness of the advocate. I look forward to this event to speak on dignity and respect for vulnerable people in justice systems”.
The conference will further support criminal justice agencies to comprehend and implement the new Victims’ Directive 2012/29/EU that aims to ensure that victims of crime are protected, well-informed and supported throughout their participation in criminal proceedings. This, will follow findings from IARS’ 2-year programme “Restorative Justice in Europe: Safeguarding Victims & Empowering Professionals” (RJE).
The ﬁndings of new research will be debated in 18 workshops covering topic that range from domestic violence to the role of victims as witnesses.
The conference will conclude with a stimulating networking evening reception hosted by the Trustees of IARS on behalf of the charity and in celebration of International Restorative Justice Week 2014. The reception will be taking place at the Law Society in the evening of the 20th November.
The reception will also see the book launch of Gavrielides, T. (2014), A victim-led criminal justice system: Addressing the paradox, IARS: London. Tickets (£15) include wine and refreshments and can be purchased by donating through the The Big Give. You can also email us at email@example.com or call us on +44(0)20 7064 4680 to book.
For more information: Contact Andriana Ntziadima – IARS Communications and Marketing Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org, 0044(0)2070644380 Direct Mobile: 07931596900
Notes to Editors
To find out more about the RJE project contact Dr. Theo Gavrielides, T.Gavrielides@iars.org.uk, 0044(0)2070644380, Direct Mobile: 07955728951, Office Mobile: 07833224442, @Tgavrielides
The RJE project is funded by the European Commission (EC Grant Agreement Just/2011-2012/JPEN/AG/2951)
IARS is a UK-based leading, international think-tank with a charitable mission to give everyone a chance to forge a safer, fairer and more inclusive society.
We achieve our charitable aims by producing evidence-based solutions to current social problems, sharing best practice and by supporting young people and the community to shape decision making. IARS is an international expert in criminal justice, restorative justice, human rights and inclusion citizenship, public service and user-led research. To find out more about IARS please follow the link www.iars.org.uk