Justice Minister launches Witness Charter Consultation

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Thursday, July 14th, 2016
Politics
Justice Minister Claire Sugden has launched a public consultation on a Charter setting out the entitlements, services and support that a witness to a crime should expect from the criminal justice system. claire 1Speaking at the official opening of a new Victim Support NI Hub the Minister said, “The criminal justice system very much depends on the honesty and, in many instances, bravery of the witnesses involved. “There is no doubt that being a witness to a crime can be a challenging and stressful experience. I want to ensure that those who have to give evidence are provided with appropriate information and that the support and services that we currently provide are fit for purpose. “Today I am launching a public consultation on a new Witness Charter, which will run until 27th September. The Charter will set out the entitlements and standards that will apply to witnesses of crime and ensure that they receive a service that is tailored to their individual needs. I would urge people to respond to this important consultation. “As the Witness Charter is quite lengthy, a summary document, an easy read version and a young person’s guide have also been produced. I am particularly keen to hear the views of those who have previous experience of being a witness.” Welcoming the launch of the consultation, Geraldine Hanna, Victim Support NI Chief Executive said, “We welcome this draft Witness Charter which sets out the standards of service that witnesses are entitled to receive as they go through the criminal justice system.
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Mid July 2016“I would urge as many people as possible to read and respond to this document, especially if you have ever experienced being a witness in court. “It is important for people to voice their views to the Department of Justice and use this opportunity to influence change, improving the support and information available to witnesses as they try to get through the often daunting court process.”

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