I am delighted to be involved in this crucial piece of work. Alongside me on Labour’s Victims' Taskforce are Labour Peer, Doreen Lawrence and former Thames Valley Chief Constable, Peter Neyroud. Our job is to advise the Labour Party what should go into a Victims Law and to make proposals about improving the criminal justice response to victims and witnesses.
My work in representing victims and my work as DPP led me to conclude that under our current criminal justice arrangements, the more vulnerable you are as a victim, the less able our system is to protect you. Many victims – particularly of domestic or sexual violence – do not have the confidence to come forward and if they do they usually say they would never do so again. That has to change.
One of the main problems is that our criminal justice system was set in stone as a straight fight between the prosecution and the defence many years ago. Victims’ rights were simply not on the agenda until recently. And while good work has been done, mainly it is ‘bolt ons’ to the current system. This review by the Labour Party is a golden opportunity to recast the criminal justice system as a criminal justice service. You can access the task force here.